best electrician books for beginners

Best Electrician Books for Beginners: Top 6 of 2021 Reviewed

Last updated on March 28th, 2021 at 08:35 pm.

A great electrician’s study guide can be the difference between passing or failing an exam.

Look for a book that has clear instructions, a reference table for common equations and unit conversions, and conforms with NEC guidelines.

But a horribly written electrician’s book is a complete waste of time (and money).

To help you find a well-written study guide – we’ve reviewed the Top 6 Books for Electricians of 2021.

Buy with the confidence that you’re buying one of the top electrician’s books on the market. Let’s dive straight into the book reviews.

Preview Product Key Features
Ugly’s Electrical References, 2020 Edition Ugly’s Electrical References, 2020 Edition
  • Miller, Charles R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 214 Pages - 12/27/2019 (Publication Date) - Jones & Bartlett Learning (Publisher)
National Electrical Code 2020, Spiral Bound Version (National Fire Protection Associations National... National Electrical Code 2020, Spiral Bound Version (National Fire Protection Associations...
  • (NFPA) National Fire Protection Association (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 896 Pages - 10/01/2019 (Publication Date) - Delmar Cengage Learning (Publisher)
Wiring a House 4th edition: 5th Edition (For Pros By Pros) Wiring a House 4th edition: 5th Edition (For Pros By Pros)
  • Wiring a House
  • Cauldwell, Rex (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
2017 Journeyman Electrician Exam Questions and Study Guide 2017 Journeyman Electrician Exam Questions and Study Guide
  • Holder, Ray (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 420 Pages - 02/15/2017 (Publication Date) - Brown Technical Publications Inc (Publisher)
Electrical Level 1 Trainee Guide Electrical Level 1 Trainee Guide
  • NCCER (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 640 Pages - 06/28/2017 (Publication Date) - Pearson (Publisher)
Ultimate Guide: Wiring, 8th Updated Edition (Creative Homeowner) DIY Home Electrical Installations &... Ultimate Guide: Wiring, 8th Updated Edition (Creative Homeowner) DIY Home Electrical Installations...
  • Creative Homeowner
  • Editors of Creative Homeowner (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Top 6 Best Books for Electricians

Uglys Electrical References

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Ugly’s Electrical References, 2020 Edition
  • Miller, Charles R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 214 Pages - 12/27/2019 (Publication Date) - Jones & Bartlett Learning (Publisher)

Our number one spot goes to Ugly’s Electrical References. It was updated in 2020, and this is by far the best Ugly’s reference guide out.

Its main purpose is to teach apprentice and veteran electricians the ins and out of the electrical industry. It can be used as a reference while on the job and can answer the questions that most beginners and apprentices tend to have.

This book presents the most important information electricians need at their fingertips such as National Electrical Code tables, mathematical formulas, conduit bending, voltage drops, first-aid procedures, and wiring.

Another reason why electricians like this book are the quality of the information presented. This book is compact and includes tables for electrical construction and commonly used electrical formulas. So, you won’t have any problem finding information based on your electrical project.

For exams, this book comes in handy. It features information based on Ohm’s Law and hints on how to use tools properly.

For those that are undergoing electrician apprenticeship training, this is the right book for you. It includes charts to help you determine the right wire to use for a circuit. This helps you prevent house fires by using the wrong wire.

So if you’re ever in need of electrical code info while on the go, this is the right book for you. Whether you’re an apprentice or Journeyman electrician, Ugly’s is an essential textbook that serves as both a study guide and an industrial training handbook.

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Advantages
  • Great read for electrician apprentices
  • NEC tables included
  • Clear instructions
  • Excellent 'how to' guide
  • Detailed information on electrical design
Disadvantages
  • ENT values are out of date and need to be updated

National Electrical Code (NEC Code)

National Electrical Code 2020, Spiral Bound Version (National Fire Protection Associations National...
  • (NFPA) National Fire Protection Association (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 896 Pages - 10/01/2019 (Publication Date) - Delmar Cengage Learning (Publisher)

For electricians, the National Electrical Code is the standard in regards to industrial, residential, and commercial occupations. The 2020 edition of the NEC Code is the most up to date guide. It provides instructions on installing equipment, electrical wiring, grounding, and overcurrent protection. 

This is the most recent version of the NEC code as it is updated every 3 years. This version has more information than the previous versions. So you’re getting the most relevant information needed to pass your exam.

The book includes many major revisions, one of the most recent additions including the recent growth of renewable energy technology amongst other things. There is also updated information to the book meant to protect advanced electrical workers from potentially dangerous hazards in the form of exposed wires or compliance solutions.

If you need to renew your electrician’s license or are studying to obtain one, this is the perfect book for you. The book was written to be easily understood by anyone, giving detailed information on most sides of electrical work.

Another reason why you should get this book is due to its conformity to the NEC rules. It includes enough useful information to keep as a guide while you’re at work.

Electricians who want to review the electrical code should definitely buy this book. It covers the high voltage systems that were previously in the utility domain. 

The National Electronic Codebook is also important for construction engineers, contractors, designers, and AHJs. It has chapters covering each section, making it easy to find information on a certain subject.

The NEC Code is a must if you want to stay up to date with electrical safety measures.

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Advantages
  • Up-to-date guidelines
  • Useful in studying for electrician exams
  • Useful Information on the NEC Codes
  • Important guide for both apprentices and journeyman
  • Tabs for chapter structuring
Disadvantages
  • Not for any pocket (although well worth the cost)
  • Text could have been bigger

Wiring a House: Completely Revised and Updated

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Wiring a House 4th edition: 5th Edition (For Pros By Pros)
  • Wiring a House
  • Cauldwell, Rex (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Wiring a House: Completely Revised and Updated is a book created by Rex Caldwell, an expert electrician with over 37 years of experience in the electrical field. Based on his experience, Rex wrote this book in a straightforward manner, making it easy-to-read. 

The book comes with over 120 detailed pictures and comprehensive explanations to help apprentice electricians get up to speed. You can anytime go back to the book when you get stuck or need help picking the correct tools.

The book provides its readers with new techniques on how to distribute low voltage power, making it easy to keep the home appliances and electrical equipment in order.

For example, he covers basic advice such as how to keep track of your tools – to the technical concepts like wiring and other tested industry trips.

There is extra information on inverters, lighting, and electrical vehicle chargers. This guide has sufficient information to help to wire a house. You should check it if you want to learn about the electrical work without wasting time understanding the technical vocabulary. 

The book also covers the safety measures required in the electrical work field. It has expanded its GFCI and AFCI protection guidelines on houses, making it easy for electricians to wire any house without burning it down in the process.

Rex Caldwell made sure his book meets the 2020 NEC guidelines.  Moreover, the book’s new DC provisions are designed to help electricians retain energy after an AC transmission.   

So if you want a budget-friendly electrical reference guide, consider getting this one.

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Advantages
  • Useful for DIY electricians
  • Detailed information on electrical wiring
  • Reasonable price
  • Follows the NEC standards
  • Includes GFCI and AFCI safety guidelines
Disadvantages
  • Does not include practice tests
  • Cannot be used as a study book

Electrical Level 1 Trainee Guide

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Electrical Level 1 Trainee Guide
  • NCCER (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 640 Pages - 06/28/2017 (Publication Date) - Pearson (Publisher)

Our next pick is the Electrical Level 1 Trainee Guide. This guide provides information for basic level electrical examination but is laid out with great examples. This is the best starter for apprentice electricians. 

This guide includes information on electrical safety, raceways, and fittings, electrical test equipment, conductors and cables, an introduction to the National Electrical Code, electrical safety and more. All you need is to buy it and start study for your exam. 

The book was thought as a completion of the NCCER’s Construction Site Safety Technician course. All the required information needed to pass an electrician exam is included – formulas, tables, and other needed details.

A drawback is the book’s binding. Many customers complained that the book would fall apart in their hands after reading it for a short time. However, it remains a good guide for electricians, helping them to increase their knowledge of basic concepts.

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Advantages
  • A great addition to the NCCER's Construction Site Safety Technician Course
  • Outstanding electricians guide
  • Included exam preparation tests
  • Includes illustrations for a detailed explanation
  • Lists charts, formulas, and tables
Disadvantages
  • Insufficient notes
  • Poor bookbindery

Ultimate Guide: Wiring (Creative Homeowner)

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Ultimate Guide: Wiring, 8th Updated Edition (Creative Homeowner) DIY Home Electrical Installations &...
  • Creative Homeowner
  • Editors of Creative Homeowner (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The Ultimate Guide: Wiring (Creative Homeowner) provides you with important information on residential electrical systems using straightforward language, detailed guidelines, and bit-by-bit photography. Read this book and you will learn how to utilize the electrical equipment. 

The book includes diagrams designed to assist you with wiring electrical equipment properly. These diagrams reinforce the methods and safety measures. They also add alternative techniques and alternatives. You will learn how to wire your home properly.

As a plus, the guide includes information on low-voltage lighting and outdoor power. This chapter helps electricians with installing outdoor electrical boxes, light switch timers, switches, and even underwater lighting for the pool. Any outdoor DIY electrician should grab a copy of this guide.

However, the book does not include sufficient information on LED lighting and customers sanctioned this aspect. 

Overall, this guide to residential wiring is a must for any homeowner, begginer or experienced electrician alike. 

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Advantages
  • Instructions on how to properly wire a house
  • Explanatory tables and charts
  • Includes explicit diagrams
  • Clear images and guidelines
  • Contains tools, equipment, and material lists
Disadvantages
  • Insufficient circuit diagrams
  • Does not include information about LEDs
  • Out of date images

Journeyman Electrician Exam Questions and Study Guide

2017 Journeyman Electrician Exam Questions and Study Guide
  • Holder, Ray (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 420 Pages - 02/15/2017 (Publication Date) - Brown Technical Publications Inc (Publisher)

The Journeyman Electrician Exam and Study Guide is the best tool that can help you prepare for an exam. This guide covers all concepts in the Journeyman exams such as motors, transformers, overcurrent protection, conductor sizing and protection, and commercial and residential load calculations.

It can help you with studying and improving your knowledge of general techniques and calculations before being examined in any state. Since it divides the how to do problems, the guide helps you in correctly answer any exam question.

Moreover, it includes practice tests to help you study for the test. It has short examples of exam questions that will help you prepare for the test. However, this book is not a must if you’re taking the E2 Exam.

The Journeyman Electrician Exam and Study Guide also covers renewable energy technologies topic. An up to date edition, giving you enough information required to meet the NEC 2018 standards. Reading this book will give you an advantage – you’ll be set to master your exams and become a fully qualified Journeyman Electrician.

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Advantages
  • Great course book
  • Excellent electricians study book
  • Contains 12 practice tests
  • Useful for learning general methods and calculations
  • Includes information on renewable energy technologies
Disadvantages
  • Can’t be used for E2 exam
  • Incorrect code reference
  • Poorly designed and printed

About Thomas Hawkins

I run Electrician Apprentice Headquarters, a one-stop-shop for learning how to become a licensed electrician in the USA. I'm a licensed Master Electrician with over 20 years experience working in the Mining & Construction industries. Why do I do it? Well, because even plumbers need heroes.

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