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Residential Electrician Course Details

Penn Foster Career School’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.
  • Electrical Fundamentals

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.
Please review your state board requirements that are applicable to your field of study. State boards may impose a variety of different requirements, which vary from state to state. This is particularly important for those searching for electrician schools in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont.
Students enrolled in our online electrician courses are eligible to participate in the Snap-on Student Excellence Program. This program allows students in trades and technology education programs to purchase high-quality Snap-on tools at a preferred student discount. Some restrictions may apply for total purchase and quantities of certain items. Click here to see the new Snap-on Catalog.
Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details
Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Surround Sound Student Support
Surround Sound Student Support
We are here to help our students achieve their goals. Whether you prefer reaching out to Penn Foster faculty and staff via chat, text, email, or phone, help is available at your convenience. You will also have access to our expert team of Success Coaches - whether you need some extra support with your program, help budgeting your education, or career advice and guidance.
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!
Short Lessons
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
Whether you are looking for an accelerated, standard or extended study plan, our customizable goal setting tools will help you set your plan, and stick to it. Have a busy week, or month, and need to take a break? Adjust your study plan at any time!
Progress-Tracking and Goal-Setting
Discussion Boards
Discussion Boards
With Penn Foster's online Residential Electrician program, you are never alone! Our learning platform includes discussion boards so you can connect with your peers and instructors as you work through your program.
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!
Interactive Learning
Penn Foster Sample Lesson

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.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your 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 OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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