The methods of getting electrical work experience can differ from one place to another, depending on how strict the local regulations are. In the United States, you will typically need to be a registered apprentice or trainee in order to get any real work experience in the electrical field. Apprenticeship programs also differ from one area to another, though you can usually work as a trainee if you are currently enrolled in school, and may be exempt from licensing requirements until after you have graduated. The reason you need the electrical work experience can also help determine the best ways to go about getting it, as there may be various internships available if you are studying to become an electrical engineer.
There are a number of different vocations and careers in the electrical field that require some type of work experience to qualify for a certification or license. Electricians and electrical engineers alike typically need to have applicable work experience before they can become licensed or certified. Work experience may also help you get into an academic program, or open up future employment prospects, so it can be very important to have on your resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
Most locations have special requirements for people who work in the various electrical fields, so getting work experience can be a challenge. It is important to determine exactly what you need the electrical work experience for, and then check into your local laws. If you want to become an electrician, you will typically need several thousand hours worth of work experience before you can get certified. In some cases you may be able to get a job as an apprentice, in which case you will usually need to register with the local authorities. If you are enrolled in an electrical program at a vocational school or college, you may be able to work as a trainee instead.
You will typically also need some level of electrical work experience if you want to become an electrical engineer. Before applying to an academic program, it may help to find an entry level job that does not require any type of certification, but will still allow you to work with or assemble electrical devices. It can also be helpful to seek out internships while you are in school, as that can give you valuable electrical work experience, and may lead to job prospects after you have graduated. Companies often prefer to hire engineers with several years of prior experience, and government licensing bodies, typically also require work experience, so this type of assistant engineering work can be invaluable.