Electrician - Certificate - Electrical Construction

Choose this program to prepare for an exciting career as an electrician. Students become registered "electrician trainees" with the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries and are awarded work experience hours upon completion. Occupational choices are extensive in the field; many graduates work in the construction industry, while others work in manufacturing or maintenance.

In BTC’s Electrician program, you’ll learn how to install, maintain, and repair residential, commercial, industrial and renewable electrical systems. You will also learn how to read blueprints and schematics, bend and install conduits, program VFDs and PLCs, and troubleshoot circuits.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

73% BTC graduate placement rate1

$58,068 starting annual wage2
$76,119 average annual wage2
$98,904 potential annual wage2

  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

  • Estimated Program Costs

Tuition Fees and Rates overview page

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

New, 1st Year Students will be accepted for the spring quarter of 2024. This is a first-come, first-served registration. Please contact the Registration-Enrollment-Admissions at 360.752.8345 if you have questions or concerns.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

Early Program Course Requirements

Graduates can be credited with up to 1472 supervised work experience hours per RCW 19.28.191 and WAC 296-46b-940. In order to receive the approved experience hours students must have an electrical trainee card from L&I. You will be expected to purchase this trainee card on the first day of the program. Please do not purchase this card prior to your starting date!

Physical Requirements

Electricians deal with color coded wires on a daily basis, making it vital for all electricians to be able to see color.

What are My Next Steps?


Total Program Credits: 66

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • ELCN 116Electrical Theory and Safety8 CR
  • ELCN 118Applied Electrical Circuits and Construction8 CR
  • AMATH 100Applied Occupational Math5 CR
  • or higher
  • Quarter 2

  • ELCN 126AC Theory and NEC9 CR
  • ELCN 128Residential Wiring & Applied AC9 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communication5 CR
  • or
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • or
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • ELCN 136Motors, Transformers & Bonding9 CR
  • ELCN 138Commercial Wiring Installation8 CR
  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • or higher
  • View past class requirements for this program.

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing the Electrical Construction certificate, students will be able to:

  • Ensure safe work practices and installations through compliance with national, state and local regulations and industry standards including the National Electrical Code and WAC/RCW.
  • Design, analyze, and diagnose basic electrical systems through the application of electrical theory fundamentals.
  • Utilize proper tools, materials, and test equipment to construct a variety of code compliant service and branch circuits found in a typical residential setting.
  • Summarize the financial and regulatory scope of the electrical industry including government fees, jobsite overhead, business operating expenses, time management, and cost of materials.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with team members, supervisors, and others in the workplace, using trade terminology, drawings, blueprints, and other documents.
  • Demonstrate professional conduct conducive to the work environment including punctuality, safety, reliability, and customer service.
  • Inspect electrical systems, equipment, or components to identify hazards, defects, or the need for adjustment, repair, or updating, and to ensure compliance with codes.

Employment Outlook

Employment of electricians is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities for skilled electricians are expected to be very good as the growth in demand outpaces the supply of workers trained in this industry. There is expected to be a shortage of skilled workers during the next decade because of the anticipated smaller pool of young workers entering training programs.

About 84% of BTC Electrician students are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $62,962, with an earning potential of about $85,805 per year.*

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

Most program graduates work as electricians. In the United States, more than half of all electricians are employed in the construction industry. Others work as maintenance electricians in virtually every industry including electrical equipment distributors, communications companies, electrical utility companies and industrial manufacturing plants.

Potential positions include apprentice electrician, journeyman electrician, electrical contractor, electrical equipment technician, maintenance electrician, television cable technician, utility company technician, telephone technician and electrical equipment salesperson. Nationally, one out of every ten electricians is self-employed.

Faculty & Support

  • Degrees and Credentials

    BS, Psychology/Biology, Western Michigan University

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    AAS, Electrician, Bellingham Technical College

    License, Electrician, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

    License, Administrator, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    License, General Journeyman Electrician (01), Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Certificate, Professional Technical Education, Washington State

    BA, General Studies, Western Washington University

    AAS, Electrician, Bellingham Technical College

    IBEW JATC Apprenticeship, NW WA Electrical Industry JATC


If you have questions about this program or want help with the admissions steps to Bellingham Technical College, please email outreach@btc.edu.

Current students wanting academic planning and support, can connect with the program Instructor(s) or email IndustrialTradesNav@btc.edu