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Old 05-10-2011, 03:44 PM   #1
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I am looking for some advice. I want to become an electrician and the schools in the area are offering two different programs. I am not sure which would be better as a starting electrician. The one program is an Associate degree in Electrical Construction Technology and the other is a Certificate in Electrical Construction. Obviously the degree is 2 years and the certificate is 1 year of school. They both are similar but will a degree really benefit me better than a certificate?

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Old 05-10-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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Don't think your being ignored, you need someone that is familiar with those particulars from PA to give you the best answer. Good luck.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:01 PM   #3
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They both are similar but will a degree really benefit me better than a certificate?

Yes, yes. Get the degree.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:36 PM   #4
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Thanks...... I know a degree verse a certificate seems better, but in the electricial field, how will this benefit me? As you all are seasoned electricians..... my question is: would I be viewed better if I had a degree? would the pay scale be different with a degree? OR will a certificate give me the same benefits as a degree?
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jaz View Post
Thanks...... I know a degree verse a certificate seems better, but in the electricial field, how will this benefit me? As you all are seasoned electricians..... my question is: would I be viewed better if I had a degree? would the pay scale be different with a degree? OR will a certificate give me the same benefits as a degree?
The degree will be a better choice because you will have more knowledge of Electrical construction as for the pay in the field for a green Aprentice that will grow with hands on experience as time goes on the degree will come in handy but you need the hands on experience in the field for that to come into play...

Good luck and welcome to the forum...
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaz View Post
I am looking for some advice. I want to become an electrician and the schools in the area are offering two different programs. I am not sure which would be better as a starting electrician. The one program is an Associate degree in Electrical Construction Technology and the other is a Certificate in Electrical Construction. Obviously the degree is 2 years and the certificate is 1 year of school. They both are similar but will a degree really benefit me better than a certificate?


What schools ?
Penn state has a good 2 year program at most local campuses.
Look at Pennsylvania College of Technology has real good programs

PCT courses

http://www.pct.edu/catalog/courses/ELT.shtml

http://www.pct.edu/catalog/courses/EET.shtml

http://www.pct.edu/catalog/courses/BBT.shtml

http://www.pct.edu/catalog/courses/RET.shtml
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:37 PM   #7
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Harry- Thanks for the advice..... That’s my problem, I really like the electrical field but not sure if it is maybe too late to get things going. I'm already 30 and with a 2 year school, being 32 starting a new profession is pretty intimidating. That's why all the advice needed for which program to go into...... I'm not against school, but if a degree is no different than a certificate, then that extra year of "hands on" may come in handy.

Tom- Thanks for the list of different programs; however, PCT is way too expensive for me. There is a local community college that is really good and fits my budget. Thanks again tough......
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jaz View Post
Thanks...... I know a degree verse a certificate seems better, but in the electricial field, how will this benefit me? As you all are seasoned electricians..... my question is: would I be viewed better if I had a degree? would the pay scale be different with a degree? OR will a certificate give me the same benefits as a degree?
If PA has licensing requirements, you can have all the degrees in the world, but if you don't have the state required courses needed to get a license, it won't matter.

Starting out in the electrical trade you will be a grunt. It will be a very long way from electrical engineering theory or anything else a degree will provide you with. You might be very discouraged.

I think going to school to get a degree should be a goal totally separate from your desire to become an electrician.

-John
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:09 PM   #9
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John- Thanks...... I'll definitely look into what state required courses I may need. Also, I expect and even want to work my way up the ladder and be that grunt at first, but even when I was in the military, being the bitch of a new guy fades after time and depends on if you're dependable and knowledgeable in your profession. My choices are an Associate Degree in Electrical Construction Technology OR a Certificate in Electrical Construction. It's almost the same material, but one is a 2 year degree and the other is a 1 year certificate...... I'm steering clear of engineering.

Thanks Again......

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Old 05-10-2011, 09:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jaz View Post
I am looking for some advice. I want to become an electrician and the schools in the area are offering two different programs. I am not sure which would be better as a starting electrician. The one program is an Associate degree in Electrical Construction Technology and the other is a Certificate in Electrical Construction. Obviously the degree is 2 years and the certificate is 1 year of school. They both are similar but will a degree really benefit me better than a certificate?

Scrap the certificate and find a company or the union to put you through an apprenticeship and get paid.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:28 PM   #11
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A degree may give you an advantage over other applicants.
Either way it probably won't make a lot of difference when it's all said done.
I'm not even sure graduating HS would make any difference.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:37 PM   #12
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If PA has licensing requirements, you can have all the degrees in the world, but if you don't have the state required courses needed to get a license, it won't matter.

Starting out in the electrical trade you will be a grunt. It will be a very long way from electrical engineering theory or anything else a degree will provide you with. You might be very discouraged.

I think going to school to get a degree should be a goal totally separate from your desire to become an electrician.

-John
I was assuming you were in high school.

No state licensing just by municipality some times

dawgs has a good point look for a contractor that is.
Around here I don't think the unions are all that doing well.
I actually saw an add for the hall in the paper a couple weeks ago.
One of my buddies in the union has been averaging 2-3 days a week for the last year.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:56 PM   #13
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...Being the bitch of a new guy fades after time and depends on if you're dependable and knowledgeable in your profession....
I absolutely agree, I'm just trying to caution you about what you expect these specific degrees to accomplish.

If you want to get into project management or something geared more towards an office environment, then I'd be more inclined to get the degree and maybe use the electrical trade as a stepping stone.

But if you just want to be a licensed electrician, I think a degree is largely inapplicable to what most electricians deal with on a daily basis, and you may regret the time and money spent getting it.

-John
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:27 PM   #14
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Try finding employment, see if you like it. It's a great trade compaired to others IMO, It can be very rewarding but It's hard work and Many get discouraged fast.

Last edited by Rocky51; 05-14-2011 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:29 PM   #15
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I am looking for some advice. I want to become an electrician and the schools in the area are offering two different programs. I am not sure which would be better as a starting electrician. The one program is an Associate degree in Electrical Construction Technology and the other is a Certificate in Electrical Construction. Obviously the degree is 2 years and the certificate is 1 year of school. They both are similar but will a degree really benefit me better than a certificate?

First, welcome to the trade. There is no more honorable endeavor than the electrical trade!

The degree will probably better suit you, especially over time. Remember, you cannot escape the immutable laws of aging: i.e. the longer you live, the older you get—the body is a machine, it will eventually wear out. Prepare for that now while you're young. Your education, in conjunction with the experience you will gain, will work to ensure that you can remain productively engaged in this trade for many, many years to come.

By the way, where in PA are you located. I held an electrical license in Erie, PA many years ago (#235).


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