How to Select the Right Electrician Trade School near Leroy Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Leroy AL. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to consider. For instance, many prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that should be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs
There are three general approaches to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Leroy AL. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are brief summaries of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Alabama colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Leroy AL can perform a wide range of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing 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 become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be earned in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes 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 choose not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs
An alternative that you might have considered is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, distance learning may be a more practical option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Travelling costs from Leroy AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Leroy AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Leroy AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Leroy AL students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Leroy AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Leroy AL electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Leroy home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Leroy AL, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Accredited Electrician Trade Schools Leroy Alabama
Choosing the ideal electrician 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 Accredited Electrician Trade Schools and wanting more information on the topic Certified Electrician School. But as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak 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 school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Leroy AL.
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