How to Find the Best Electrician Tech School near Alabaster Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Alabaster AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, some potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs
There are several ways to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Alabaster AL. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to complete and are provided by Alabama community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Alabaster AL can undertake a wide range of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about four to five years of experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 3 levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online
A possibility that you may have looked at is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient option for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Alabaster AL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Alabaster AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Alabaster AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Alabaster AL students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Alabaster AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Alabaster AL electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Alabaster home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Alabaster AL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Domestic Electrical Courses Alabaster Alabama
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Domestic Electrical Courses and wanting more information on the topic Online Electrician Degree. But as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Alabaster AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Alabaster is a city and southern suburb of Birmingham in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 30,352. According to the 2018 Census Estimates, the city had a population of 33,340. Alabaster is the 16th largest city in Alabama by number of residents.
Alabaster mostly occupies the Cahaba and Opossum Valleys, which are divided by the Pine Ridge that runs north to south. To the east and west, both valleys are flanked by parallel mountain ridges that locally run north to south, but are a part of a larger system of ridges that generally runs north-east to south-west (the tailing ends of the Appalachian foothills). The valleys are drained by small creeks (Buck Creek, Beaverdam Creek) which flow into the Cahaba River.
George L. Scott, Sr., an Alabaster pioneer, owned and operated Alabaster Lime Co., which mined this mineral. His shipping point was known as “Scott Rock.” Later, worker housing was built to accommodate some of the mine employees. The community was named Alabaster after the "white calcium carbonate mineral."
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