Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020   Even in Difficult Times, Becoming an Electrician or Low Voltage Technician is Still a Safe Bet

2020 has been an unprecedented year for the electrical and construction industries in California due to the COVID-19 emergency, Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-33-20, and confusion stemming from differing information regarding how the industries could—or could not—operate.

However, there are two things that this crisis has shown. The electrical and construction industries are resilient, and electricians, low voltage technicians, and solar technicians are essential and in high demand—and as such, command salaries significantly above or on par with the national average across all occupations, and enjoy excellent benefits.

For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May 2019 that the annual mean wage across all occupations in the United States was $53,490 per year. Meanwhile, electricians nationwide can expect to make an average of $60,730 per year, with electricians in California making $65,377 per year on average. As for low voltage technicians--using fire alarm and security installers as an example--the national average is $50,210 per year, with those in California making $52,374 per year.
But that's not the only good news. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the projected career growth for electricians nationwide from 2018 to 2028 will be 10 percent (faster than average), while the employment of fire alarms and security installers (as an example of low voltage technician growth) is estimated to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024—also faster than average.
What's more, the construction industry in California actually added jobs in May, despite the COVID-19 emergency and statewide shutdowns. According to the Associated Press, California's construction industry added 75,000 jobs in May, largely due to “restaurants and other businesses in need of repairs before reopening". Read the rest of the article here. So, while the industry and the economy as a whole are not yet 'out of the woods', so to speak, the statistics offer a glimpse of hope and stability for the future.

Apply for one of WECA's apprenticeship programs or register to start your education with the electrician trainee certificate program (no waiting!)--both are viable educational paths to gaining certification in California.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2020   Summer 2020 Updates to Online Courses; Effective Until Sept. 30

Please review the information below for changes to upcoming onsite lab scheduling and in-person classroom courses, in response to COVID-19 in California.

The good news for Electrician Trainees and Journeyperson Continuing Education Students enrolled in our programs is that most of our class delivery is already online. Online classes will continue to be delivered as scheduled with no interruption, including all evening GetWired classes. Our entire summer catalog is online and available for enrollment here. Alternate arrangements are offered for onsite lab days; please read below for details specific to your course.

For those students currently enrolled in a GetWired class with a lab date from now through the end of Session 3 (September 30, 2020):
  • Your lab will be conducted entirely online.
  • Your lab date will remain identical. Your lab time may shift from afternoon to morning, or vice versa. Please watch your email for further details.
  • WECA will send you confirmation of your login instructions for your online lab.
For those students interested in Two Day Exam Prep, we are currently offering a Live Online Two Day Exam Prep rather than the classroom version; this course uses the same curriculum as our ongoing popular course, but is held in a live, online, instructor-led format across two Saturdays.
  •  Live Online Two Day Exam Prep, 16 hours (July 18th and 25th; open for enrollment)
  • You may also consider GetWired 404 Exam Prep. (GetWired 404 is 42 hours, entirely online and led by a live instructor, and delves even more deeply into preparation for the State certification exam).
The situation around COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and WECA's delivery plans are subject to further modifications based upon subsequent guidance from authorities. We're glad to be able to deliver our regularly-scheduled online classes without interruption. Please follow WECA's communications closely for further updates, as we will do our best to rapidly communicate any further changes to you. Thank you for your patience and solidarity as we all work together to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our community.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2020   Live Online 2-Day Exam Preparation Lets You Study at Your Own Pace

Seats Going Fast -- Register Today for July!

Many students are eager to prepare to take their certification exam--especially now that many of PSI's testing centers across California have reopened for appointments--and WECA wants to meet that need. In order to do so safely and easily in this era of physical distancing due to COVID-19, WECA has taken its popular 2-Day Exam Prep class online! 

Live Online Two Day Exam Preparation is an online, instructor-led, fast-paced code study course focused on using the Code book in preparation for the State Certification exam. 

In this class, enrollees meet with their instructor and fellow students over Zoom for two subsequent Saturdays. Students enjoy not only excellent, personalized instruction and the opportunity to get questions answered, but also a ton of practice with simulated exam quizzing.

This course is meant to be a refresher course for individuals otherwise ready to take the General or Residential Certification Exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture. 

The next instance of this online, instructor-led course will run on two subsequent Saturdays, July 18th and 25th. Learn more and secure a seat for yourself or an employee. As always, be sure to take advantage of WECA member discounts for your employees! (Give us a call if you're using a member discount for the first time, to make sure you're maximizing this benefit. Your employees can get a discount even if they're paying for themselves.)

Students who want a more comprehensive exam preparation experience are encouraged to enroll in WECA's GetWired! 404 Test Prep, consisting of 42 instructor-led hours, also all online.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2020   Watch: Mike Rowe Delivers an Unsolicited Commencement Speech Delivered at the Height of the Plague

An Unsolicited Commencement Speech Delivered at the Height of the Plague
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Wednesday, June 24, 2020   Online VDV and FLS technician certification exam prep courses let you study at your own pace

Fully Code-and-text updated for current exams!
Individuals planning to take California's Voice Data Video (VDV) or Fire Life Safety (FLS) technician certification exams can get prepared with WECA's interactive and self-paced online exam prep courses, 32-Hour VDV Exam Prep and 32-Hour FLS Exam Prep -- both fully Code-updated for the current exam.

Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation (32 Hour Course)(2017 Code Edition)

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) as well as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.
Click here to learn more and enroll!

Voice Data Video Exam Preparation (32 hour course)(2017 Code Edition)

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Voice Data Video Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through developing proficiency in the preparation for and execution of the VDV certification exam. It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to questions rather than instruction by lecture.
Click here to learn more and enroll!
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