How to Select the Best Electrician Training School near Scottsboro Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Scottsboro AL. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, many prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when picking an electrician training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs
There are several options to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Scottsboro AL. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are brief descriptions of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Alabama vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are offered by Alabama community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Alabama institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Scottsboro AL can undertake a vast array of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually around four to five years of experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method 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 numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes 3 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician trade school that you select not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online
An alternative that you may have contemplated is selecting an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning might be a more convenient alternative for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Commuting costs from Scottsboro AL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Scottsboro AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two 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 although all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have earned 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 pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Scottsboro AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Scottsboro AL grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Scottsboro AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. 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 Scottsboro AL electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Scottsboro residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, check that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Colleges That Offer Electrician Programs Scottsboro Alabama
Choosing the right electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Colleges That Offer Electrician Programs and wanting more information on the topic Electrician Education Requirements. But as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are examining 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 education should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on 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 Scottsboro AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Scottsboro is a city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 14,770. Named for its founder Robert T. Scott, the city is the county seat of Jackson County.
From its incorporation in 1870 until 1890, it was the largest community in Jackson County, losing the distinction from 1900 to 1920 to Bridgeport, but reclaiming the title in 1930 and holding it since that time.
It is located 30 miles each from the state boundaries of Georgia to the east (Dade County) and Tennessee to the north, about 45 miles from Huntsville, Alabama to the west and about 55 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to the northeast.
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