How to Become an Electrician in California

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The demand for skilled electricians in California is surging as the technical industry consistently expands and natural disasters cause power outages all around the state.

If you’re looking for a career that comes with excellent job security, constant growth opportunities, and excellent pay, then you should consider working in the electrical industry!

So, keep reading to find out how to become an electrician in California.

Search Electrician Programs

Get information on Electrician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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Electrician Job Duties and Skills in California states that electricians should have these skills and be prepared to perform the following job duties:

  • Install transmission lines for electrical equipment; 
  • Assemble, install, and repair electric lights, motors, heaters, generators, transformers, switchboards and other electrical apparatus
  • Troubleshoot electrical systems
  • Operate electrical power-generating plants
  • Estimate the cost of minor electrical installations
  • Keep simple records and make reports

And more.

Electricians should also have:

  • Good communication skills
  • Good time management skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Customer service skills

How to Become an Electrician in California

Still interested in becoming an electrician?

Read the steps below to find out how you can make your dream career a reality!

Make Sure You Meet The Requirements

To be eligible for an electrical license in California, you must be 18 years old or older.

You must also have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.

Make sure you meet these requirements before applying to take the licensing exam!

Get All the Necessary Classroom Hours

You have to make sure you complete 150 hours in class before you can apply for your electrical license in California.

Be sure you meet this requirement or you will be unable to get your license!

Complete The Required Training

If you don’t gain 8,000 hours of  work experience, you won’t be eligible to receive an electrical license in California.

You can gain all the required hours by completing an apprenticeship program.

You can also gain working hours while attending some technical schools and community colleges.

Apply For Your License

Once you’re sure you’ve met all the requirements, you can apply for your electrical license!

To do this, you need to take and pass the electrical exam.

This exam will be 100 questions, and you must score a 70% or higher to pass.

If you pass the exam, you get your license!

Training Programs for Electricians in California

Here are some institutions in California that offer electrical training programs.

Diablo Valley College

At Diablo Valley College, students have the opportunity to earn:

  • An Associate in Science – Electrical/Electronics Technology
  • A Certificate of Achievement – Electrical/Electronics Technology
  • A Certificate of Accomplishment – Electrical/Electronics Technology

And states, “The electrical/electronics technology program will prepare you for work in a variety of occupations and career paths, including:

  • Electronics Engineering Technician
  • Electrical and Electronics Repairer (Commercial/Industrial Equipment)
  • Electrical and Electronics Installers & Repairer (Transportation Equipment)
  • Electrical and Electronics Repairer (Powerhouse/Substation/Relay)”

The program offers an education that will go far in earning students a diverse range of career opportunities.

Electrical Training Institute of San Diego & Imperial Counties

The Electrical Training Institute of San Diego & Imperial Counties offers students an apprenticeship opportunity that will allow them to make a living while learning.

The school offers a wireman apprenticeship an a telecommunications apprenticeship.

The wireman program is a 5-year training program while the telecommunications program offers 4-year training.

According to, students will only be required to attend class two nights per week two semesters during the year, making it a great options for those who prefer out-of-classroom learning.

Fresno City College

Fresno City College offers the Electrical Systems Technology course, which “Provides an opportunity for you to prepare for employment or enhance your current job skills in the electronics, electrical, controls, and communications industries.

Job opportunities are in residential, commercial or industrial settings.” also states, “Most courses include both lecture and lab and have been approved by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) to qualify you as an Electrician Trainee in the state of California.”

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

After completing Los Angeles Trade Technical College’s program, students will have the necessary knowledge and skills for a career in Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Construction and Maintenance of Electrical Systems.

According to, “Electrical theory, electrical controls, conduit installation, blueprints, low voltage systems, maintenance practices, equipment installation, etc. are just some of the skills that will be mastered during this program.”

LATTC offers students the option to pursue the Electrical Construction and Maintenance Associate of Science degree, the Electrical Construction and Maintenance Construction Technologies Associate of Arts degree, or Certificates of Achievement.

School Name Address
Diablo Valley College 321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Electrical Training Institute of San Diego & Imperial Counties 4675 Viewridge Ave, San Diego, CA 92123
Fresno City College 1101 E. University Ave, Fresno, CA 93741
Los Angeles Trade Technical College 400 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015-4181

Electrician Salaries in California

California is an expensive place to live, so you may be wondering how much you can expect to earn as an electrician while living there.

The amount you can earn depends on a wide range of circumstances, such as how long you’ve been an electrician, and how much expertise you possess.

It also depends on which city you reside in.

Check out the chart below for an in-depth look at earning potential based on city.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
San Jose $81,901
San Francisco $81,575
Oakland $79,617
Los Angeles $73,267
Anaheim $72,928
Santa Ana $72,830
Long Beach $72,765
Sacramento $70,670
San Diego $70,426
Fresno $65,391

Regional Salary in California

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA1,380$73,220$35.2$111,810$39,720
Chico, CA350$66,020$31.74$100,800$38,500
El Centro, CA160$68,740$33.05$105,580$36,850
Fresno, CA1,690$66,270$31.86$101,030$37,530
Hanford-Corcoran, CA100$66,360$31.9$87,400$43,680
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA20,870$77,150$37.09$119,390$43,820
Madera, CA130$74,870$36$119,780$44,720
Merced, CA130$71,290$34.28$123,690$44,740
Modesto, CA830$69,000$33.17$100,400$38,010
Napa, CA200$69,600$33.46$103,090$43,610
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA1,050$68,020$32.7$101,220$45,250
Redding, CA290$78,870$37.92$126,330$42,770
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA7,820$69,590$33.46$124,970$37,160
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA6,030$74,730$35.93$126,760$39,530
Salinas, CA440$72,530$34.87$107,200$41,600
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA8,390$69,940$33.63$106,960$40,230
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA9,990$96,330$46.31$164,360$47,650
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA4,700$99,230$47.71$167,390$48,980
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA490$75,640$36.37$128,460$39,130
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA290$73,180$35.18$100,290$44,600
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA630$67,160$32.29$99,130$38,980
Santa Rosa, CA1,110$75,640$36.36$113,420$44,010
Stockton-Lodi, CA1,390$73,540$35.36$124,920$39,570
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA720$75,550$36.32$120,260$47,050
Visalia-Porterville, CA570$67,190$32.3$101,550$36,780
Yuba City, CA140$69,880$33.6$100,240$41,410
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Electricians, OCC Code 47-2111, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many work hours do you need to receive an electrical license in California?

You’ll need to earn 8,000 work hours before you can apply for your electrical license in California.

How much does an electrician make in California?

This depends on work experience and expertise, but most electricians in California will make $50,000 or more per year.

Do electricians need a license in California?


If you want to become an electrician in California, you’ll need to get a license from the California Department of Industrial Relations.

Electrician Info by State

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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