How to Pick the Best Electrician Trade School near Enterprise Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Enterprise AL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have found several that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only things that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting an electrician school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options
There are several options to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Enterprise AL. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Alabama vocational and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards those who would like to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to complete and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly 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 earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Alabama colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Enterprise AL can carry out a vast array of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you select not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online
An alternative that you might have looked at is choosing an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting costs from Enterprise AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Enterprise AL region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Enterprise AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors 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 more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Enterprise AL students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Enterprise AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Enterprise AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Enterprise residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL, check that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Electrical Technician Degree Enterprise Alabama
Picking the right electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Electrical Technician Degree and wanting more information on the topic Become Qualified Electrician. 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 looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Enterprise AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County and the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
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