How to Pick the Best Electrician Technical School near Westover Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Westover AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many variables to consider. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located several that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
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Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options
There are multiple options to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Westover AL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are short explanations of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards those who would like to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to finish and are provided by Alabama community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Westover AL can undertake a multitude of services, such as 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 mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about four to five years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be acquired in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves 3 levels of proficiency:
- 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 important that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs
An option that you might have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. 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 entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more practical option for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Driving expenses from Westover AL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Westover AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Westover AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified 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 broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Westover AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Westover AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Westover AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Westover home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges 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 sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Westover AL, confirm 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. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Top Electrician Schools Online Westover Alabama
Picking the ideal 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 Top Electrician Schools Online and wanting more information on the topic How Long To Become An Electrician. But as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect 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 dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Westover AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Westover Air Reserve Base
Westover Air Reserve Base (IATA: CEF, ICAO: KCEF, FAA LID: CEF) is an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) installation located in the Massachusetts communities of Chicopee and Ludlow, near the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. Westover hosts the largest Air Reserve Base in the world in terms of area. Until 2011, it was a backup landing site for the NASA Space Shuttle and in the past few years has expanded to include a growing civilian access airport (Westover Metropolitan Airport) sharing Westover's military-maintained runways. The installation was named for Major General Oscar Westover who was commanding officer of the Army Air Corps in the 1930s.
The host unit is the 439th Airlift Wing (439 AW) of the Fourth Air Force (4 AF), Air Force Reserve Command. Outside of the AFRC command structure, the 439 AW and Westover are operationally gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC).
In 1951, Air Defense Command arrived, but then turned over the base in 1955 to Strategic Air Command, which sent the 4050th, later 499th Air Refueling Wing, to operate from the base. The 99th Bombardment Wing arrived in 1956. In case of nuclear war, an alternate SAC command bunker, called The Notch, was constructed deep within nearby Bare Mountain.
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