How to Select the Right Electrician Tech School near Leighton Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Leighton AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of points to evaluate. For instance, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that need to be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs
There are several options to receive electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Leighton AL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Alabama technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who would like to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to finish and are provided by Alabama 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 previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Alabama colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Leighton AL can undertake a multitude of tasks, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around four to five years of experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails three 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 crucial that the electrician trade school that you pick not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online
An alternative that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Driving expenses from Leighton AL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Leighton AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Leighton AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Leighton AL students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Leighton AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Leighton AL electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Leighton home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training 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 instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Leighton AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Accredited Electrical Certification Schools Leighton Alabama
Choosing the ideal electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Accredited Electrical Certification Schools and wanting more information on the topic Electrician Schooling Requirements. But as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Leighton AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Leighton is a town in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". At the 2010 census the population was 729. Leighton has been hit by several tornadoes in the 2000s, including a damaging EF2 on May 8, 2008, that was caught on tape flipping over many cars and damaging buildings.
The first settlers in what is now Leighton arrived in the early 1810s. The community was initially known as "Crossroads" for its location at the intersection of two early stage coach roads. The name was later changed to "Leighton" for town's first postmaster, the Reverend William Leigh. The town developed as a cotton shipping center in the 1830s after the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad constructed a railroad line through the area. Leighton incorporated in 1890.
Leighton originally straddled the county line of Franklin and Lawrence Counties. When Colbert County was carved off in 1867, the town still remained divided between the new county and Lawrence. On the 1880 U.S. Census, it reported having 196 residents on the Colbert County side and 83 on the Lawrence County side. After the 1890 Census, Colbert County's eastern border was expanded eastward several miles to Town Creek, placing Leighton wholly within Colbert.
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