Residential Electrician Course Details

Penn Foster College’s online Residential Electrician program consists of ten courses to help you gain the knowledge and skills relevant for performing residential electrical jobs in a variety of settings — including construction or maintenance companies, manufacturing and wholesale suppliers, and government agencies.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To prepare students for an entry-level career as an electrician at the apprentice level in the residential and light commercial construction field.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
  • Recognize formulas and their applications to determine quantities and sizes of materials required and their installation processes
  • Describe measurement methods and mathematical processes necessary for the preparation and implementation of electrical related projects
  • Outline regulations and procedures related to workplace safety
  • Explain how to interpret basic electrical blueprints and technical drawings to follow the required specifications of electrical projects
  • Explain the composition and usage of materials and processes required for electrical system installations and repairs
  • Identify procedures for evaluating and diagnostic testing of electrical components and circuits
  • Identify how to apply and comply with the National Electrical Code
In this course, you'll learn tips for how to be a good Penn Foster student.
  • Understand how to use your student portal.
  • Identify skills needed to be a confident and independent online learner
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
In this course, you'll get a general overview of the skills and knowledge required of a residential electrician. You'll learn about the job opportunities for electricians; basic electrical terms and concepts such as power, voltage, and current; and how power is supplied to and throughout a residence. Then, you'll discover how both AC and DC circuits are formed and how to calculate the power supplied through these circuits. Finally, you'll learn the math needed to perform electrical measurements, calculations, and conversions.


  • Define an electrician's role and how to get started in the electrical field
  • Describe the nature of electricity
  • Explain circuits and Ohm's Law
  • Define alternating current
  • Summarize how to use basic math operations for trade professions
In this course, you'll study the major electrical classifications and describe the job functions associated with each. You'll learn about how the National Electrical Code applies to manufacturers, installers, and users of electrical equipment. You'll also find out about the hand tools you'll use as an electrician.


  • Explain how to work safely with electricity
  • List the various tools an electrician uses
  • Describe how to use a multimeter

Additional Course Material:

Equipment: Digital Multimeter

Schematic diagrams and blueprints are vital for both the planning and installation phases of a residential electrician's work. Understanding the wiring job in full allows an electrician to be prepared and complete the job efficiently. In this course, you'll discover how schematics and blueprints are prepared. You'll also learn to read schematics and diagrams and to trace wiring diagrams for motor controls.


  • Analyze electrical drawings, block diagrams, wiring diagrams, and electrical schematic diagrams
  • Analyze electrical blueprints, logic controller diagrams, and wiring plans for residential and light commercial applications

Additional Course Material:

Learning Aid: Electrician Blueprint Set

In this course, you'll learn to identify the physical and electrical properties and characteristics of conductors. You'll also learn about the types and characteristics of conduit. Both of these areas of knowledge are essential for any wiring job you'll work on throughout your entire career. Many of the skills you'll learn later on in your program build on these basic fundamentals.


  • Describe how to select and install various types of conductors, wires, and cables
  • Identify how to install various types of conduit fittings and supports
In this course, you'll study several common types of wiring equipment. You'll also learn to identify various types of control devices, including hand-operated switches, automatic switches, magnetically controlled devices, and remote-control systems.


  • Explain how to install various types of control and protective devices
  • Describe several common types of wiring equipment, electrical fittings, and boxes, cabinets, and panels
In this course, you'll learn to identify and understand common wiring terms and symbols and to use diagrams and plans to connect branch circuits. You'll also learn about transformers and how they're used to transmit electrical power. Then, you'll study how to connect electrical equipment and conductors to wire new circuits. Finally, you'll apply what you learned about wiring new circuits to old work. You'll also discover how electricians use circuit measurement techniques to troubleshoot problems.


  • Describe the types and requirements of different circuits used for specific applications
  • Explain the uses, operations, and types of transformers
  • Describe how to install various electrical components in new work
  • Describe how to install various electrical components in existing structures and how to update old work

Additional Course Material:

Learning Aid: Residential Wiring Simulation

In this course, you'll gain an understanding of different heating sources and some of the benefits of electric heating. You'll also discover the function of common components within a building's HVAC system, a pneumatic automatic control system, and an electric automatic control system.


  • Explain the fundamentals, uses, and control mechanisms of electric heating
  • Describe the functions and components of air conditioning systems
This course is designed to teach you how to use the National Electrical Code (NEC) as a practical tool to ensure your work complies with the NEC's codes. Engineers, designers, and technicians actually installing systems and components need to comply with the NEC. It's important to think of the NEC as a tool in your collection, something you'll need and use as often as cutting pliers and wire strippers. You should always have this tool close at hand, so there's no need to try and memorize the NEC. This course will teach you how to use and interpret the NEC so you can be sure your work complies with code.


  • Describe how to use the NEC to find wiring codes for residential applications
  • Summarize the NEC codes regarding load calculations, electrical service, and conductors
  • Explain the NEC Articles pertaining to grounding, bonding, wiring, and raceways
  • Summarize the NEC codes related to equipment, including switching devices, panelboards, fixtures, and appliances
  • Summarize the NEC codes covering commercial and industrial installations
  • Determine whether various electrical scenarios comply with the National Electrical Code

Additional Course Material:


  • National Electrical Code®
  • Electrical Systems Based on the NEC®

Learning Aid: Residential Wiring Diagram

In this course, you'll learn about the concept of troubleshooting and the methods of approach applied in troubleshooting. These troubleshooting techniques will apply all of the skills learned throughout your program. Then, you'll learn about a potential career path for residential electricians — starting your own business. This course covers the important considerations of starting an electrical contracting business, including the advantages, disadvantages, skills required, and finances.


  • List the methods of approach and steps to electrical troubleshooting
  • Identify the considerations involved in starting an electrical contracting business

Additional Details

  • Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Penn Foster College Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. Penn Foster College has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations and licensing. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

DEAC and SARA Accreditation Logos

New Interactive Skilled Trades Learning Aids

No matter your learning style, Penn Foster has designed our skilled trades programs to help you build hands-on skills that will help you grow as a professional. You can now benefit from Penn Foster updating 140 skilled trades lessons with new interactive learning aids, including whiteboard animations, engaging videos, and other visual media. These visual aids support Penn Foster’s Learn-Practice-Apply instruction model and will help you recall crucial knowledge and skills once your on the job.


Take the Penn Foster online Residential Electrician program with you wherever you go. Our custom-designed learning platform is easy to use at-home, or on-the-go. Study when and where you have time!

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Short Lessons

At Penn Foster, we know you have a busy life. Our Residential Electrician program is broken down into short, manageable lessons to help you fit learning into your schedule. Don’t have time to finish a lesson? Not a problem — you can pick up right where you left off when you sign back in!

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.

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Fun and Interactive Learning

We’ve designed the program to include built-in self-checks and interactive flashcards to help you review the materials you have learned. As you work through your program, you will also receive real-time feedback on self-checks and exercises so you know you can be sure that you are on the right track. Plus, with frequent review checkpoints, you can be confident that you know your stuff before you take your exams!

Sample Residential Electrician Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a residential electrician course would look like.

laptop sample lesson graphic.
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, Microsoft® Office 2019 or Microsoft 365®, and an email account to complete this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.