How to Enroll in the Best Electrician Trade School near Clayton Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Clayton AL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of factors to consider. For example, some potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located a few that are within driving range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple approaches to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Clayton AL. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the three most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to finish and are provided by Alabama community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Alabama institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Clayton AL can carry out a wide range of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be earned in numerous specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools
An option that you might have contemplated is choosing an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more practical option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving costs from Clayton AL are also minimized and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. Each of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Clayton AL region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Clayton AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Clayton AL grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Clayton AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Clayton AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Clayton home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Clayton AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Electrical Training Clayton Alabama
Picking the best electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Online Electrical Training and wanting more information on the topic Learn To Become An Electrician. But as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Clayton AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Clayton has been the county seat since 1834, two years after the creation of Barbour County. Clayton is located geographically in the center of the county. The town was located at the headwaters of the Pea and Choctawhatchee rivers on the historic road from Hobdy's Bridge over the Pea River to Eufaula on the Chattahoochee River. By 1818, there were a few settlers in the area around Clayton, but settlement began in earnest around 1823. The town was named for Augustine S. Clayton, a Georgia jurist and congressman. Clayton became the county seat of Barbour County in 1833 and was laid out on a central courthouse square plan. The first Circuit Court was held in Clayton on September 23, 1833. The Clayton post office was established in September 1835 with John F. Keener as postmaster. Clayton, with a population of 200, was incorporated on December 21, 1841, by the Alabama Legislature. Its first mayor, after incorporation, was John Jackson.
Clayton has a rich heritage with four properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Clayton is also known for its Whiskey Bottle Tombstone, which was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not!.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Clayton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
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