Residential Electrician

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your program consists of nine Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Note: Graduates of the Residential Electrician Program also earn 6 credits toward an Associate Degree in Industrial Electronics and Electrical Maintenance Technology at Penn Foster College.

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.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons.

Program Goal and Outcomes

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

Program Outcomes:
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
  • Compute measurement methods and mathematical processes necessary for the preparation and implementation of electrical related projects
  • Recognize regulations and procedures related to workplace safety
  • Comprehend the principles of interpreting basic electrical blueprints and technical drawings to follow the required specifications of electrical projects
  • Understand 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
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of the United States National Electrical Code

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Getting Started as a Residential Electrician
Electricity simplified; house circuits; electrical distribution.

Instruction Set 2

Working Safely with Electricity
Classifications and categories; National Electrical Code® (NEC®); OSHA; shock; first aid.

Electricians’ Tools
Electricians’ equipment; metric conversion; measuring instruments.

Practical Exercise:
Electrical Fundamentals

Learning Aid:
DVD: Safe Use of Hand Tools

Parts Kit for Electrical Fundamentals

Instruction Set 3

Nature of Electricity
Simple circuit operation; conductors, insulators, and resistors; electrical symbols used in schematics.

Electrical Equipment, Part 1
Boxes and fittings; pull boxes and splice boxes; conductor and conduit fittings.

Electrical Equipment, Part 2
Devices and loads; switches, relays, thermostats, remote controls, control diagrams, fuses.

Practical Exercise:
Installing Electrical Equipment

Learning Aid:
DVD: Installing Switches, Receptacles, and Lampholders

Combination Wiring Tool
Screwdriver Set
Safety Goggles
Parts Kit for Installing Electrical Equipment

Instruction Set 4

Properties and characteristics of conductors; installing and connecting wires and cables in residential circuits; sizing conductors.

Working with Conduit
Installing conduit fittings and supports; tools used to bend conduit; determining conductor and conduit sizing.

Practical Exercise:
Conduit and Conductors

Learning Aid:
DVD: Doing Conduit Work

Parts Kit for Conduit and Conductors

Instruction Set 5

Wiring Electrical Components, Part 1
Cabling and boxes; three-phase circuits; mounting and wiring boxes.

Wiring Electrical Components, Part 2
Devices and fixtures; lamp control; wiring lamp holders; major appliance and space heater wiring.

Math for the Trades
Basic math operations; English and metric measurement; using a protractor; using formulas to solve problems.

Circuit Analysis and Ohm’s Law
Finding the total resistance in series, parallel, and series-parallel circuits; using Ohm’s Law; reading current, voltage, and resistance with a meter.

Working with Multimeters
Performing tests for short circuits; performing resistance tests; measuring current and output voltage.

Practical Exercise:
Working with Circuits

Learning Aid:
DVD: Special Wiring Applications

Digital Multimeter
Parts Kit for Working with Circuits

Instruction Set 6

Electric Heating
Use and measurement of heat; liquid, gas, and resistance thermometers; ultrasonic and solar heating.

Controls for Air Conditioning
Controls for heating, cooling, ventilating, and humidifying; pressure, humidity, and air cleaning.

Reading Electrical Schematic Diagrams
Electrical drawings; schematic symbols; distribution circuits and symbols.

Practical Exercise:
Wiring HVAC Circuits

Learning Aid:
HVAC System Schematic

Instruction Set 7

Electrical Blueprint Reading
Parts of blueprint, including conduit, cable list, and bill of material; symbols and abbreviations.

Wiring Electrical Circuits
Feeder and branch circuits; wiring a residence; portable, fixed, and stationary appliances.

Connections of single-phase or polyphase
transformers; autotransformers; maintenance.

Practical Exercise:
Advanced Electrical Work

Instruction Set 8

The National Electrical Code®
Working with and interpreting codes; how the code applies to commonly-encountered tasks.

NEC® Graded Project
Evaluating actual wiring diagrams to locate code violations; laying out a portion of a wiring diagram to conform to the NEC.®

Learning Aid:
Residential Wiring Diagram

National Electrical Code®
Understanding the National Electrical Code®

Work Experience Option

Instruction Set 9

Troubleshooting Electrical Systems
Common problems that occur in electrical systems; basic troubleshooting steps.

Electrical Estimating
Residential, commercial, and industrial electrical installation.

The Business of Electrical Contracting
Employee management; organization; insurance; business costs; bidding; dealing with customers; and business growth.

Electrical Estimating

Graduation Set
(Sent to you when all program requirements and financial obligations have been met.)

• Journeyman Exam Preparation Guide


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

You must have completed the 8th grade to enroll in this program.

National Electric Code and NEC are trademarks of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.