How to Choose the Best Electrician Trade School near Marion Junction Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Marion Junction AL. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many factors to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final judgment when selecting an electrician school. We will address 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 educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options
There are multiple ways to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Marion Junction AL. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to complete and are offered 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 previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain Alabama institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Marion Junction AL can undertake a multitude of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be earned in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases includes 3 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online
An alternative that you may have contemplated is choosing an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning can be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Marion Junction AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Marion Junction AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may 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. Make certain that the Marion Junction AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, 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 may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Marion Junction AL grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Marion Junction AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form 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 working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Marion Junction AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Marion Junction residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Marion Junction AL, verify that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Electrical Trade Schools Marion Junction Alabama
Selecting the right electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Electrical Trade Schools and wanting more information on the topic Vocational School Electrician. But as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities 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 instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Marion Junction AL.
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