How to Select the Best Electrician Technical School near Columbiana Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Columbiana AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options
There are three general ways to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Columbiana AL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Alabama trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to complete and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed before licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Columbiana AL can undertake a wide range of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in many specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails three levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you choose not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online
An alternative that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning can be a more accommodating alternative for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Travelling costs from Columbiana AL are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. All of these advantages 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.
Points to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Columbiana AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Columbiana AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Columbiana AL students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction 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 electrical businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Columbiana AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Columbiana AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Columbiana home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Columbiana AL, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Train To Be An Electrician Columbiana Alabama
Picking the ideal electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Train To Be An Electrician and wanting more information on the topic Schools That Offer Electrician Training. But as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Columbiana AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Columbiana, originally called Columbia, was selected as the county seat of Shelby County in 1826 over rivals Calera and Montevallo. After the selection as the county seat, Columbiana celebrated by drilling holes in a large pine tree and packing it with gunpowder. The tree was blown up and the sound could be heard for miles. Later in 1826, the courthouse was moved to an old school building in Columbiana.
An act of the Alabama Legislature officially changed the name of Shelby County's county seat to Columbiana on January 13, 1832. Columbiana was incorporated on December 5, 1837 with corporate limits one-quarter of a mile in each direction from the public square.
In 1854, the decision was made to build a larger courthouse at the south end of “Silk Stocking Road”, now Main Street. From 1854 to 1908 several additions and changes were made to the courthouse. During the American Civil War, Columbiana was connected to the nearby town of Shelby by the Shelby Iron Company Railroad, which connected the Shelby Iron Works to the Alabama and Tennessee River Railroad. The Iron Works supplied iron to the C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, which moved to Columbiana in 1862 after the fall of Corinth, Mississippi. The Churchill foundry made eight and ten pound shot, eight and ten pound shells, and shells for Blakely rifles. The C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, Shelby Iron Works and the railroad were destroyed by Union forces on March 31, 1865, as part of Wilson's Raid.
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