How to Choose the Right Electrician Tech School near Anchorage Alaska
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Anchorage AK. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many variables to consider. For example, many students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things 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 influence your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs
There are three general approaches to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Anchorage AK. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Alaska vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards those who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to complete and are offered by Alaska junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain Alaska colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Anchorage AK can perform a vast array of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be acquired in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you choose not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online
An option that you might have contemplated is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more practical choice for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Commuting costs from Anchorage AK are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available on line also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Anchorage AK region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned 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 chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Anchorage AK school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Anchorage AK students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught in conjunction 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 contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Anchorage AK area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Anchorage AK electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Anchorage home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Anchorage AK, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Electrician Degrees Anchorage Alaska
Selecting 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 Electrician Degrees and wanting more information on the topic How Long To Become Electrician. But as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Anchorage AK.
More Electric Locations in Alaska
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: Dgheyaytnu) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska, located in the West Coast of the United States. With an estimated 291,538 residents in 2018, it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. All together, the Anchorage metropolitan area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 399,148 in 2018, which accounts for more than half of the state's population. At 1,706 square miles of land area, the city is the fourth largest city by land in the United States and larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, at 1,212 square miles.
Anchorage is in the south-central portion of Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south. The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2) which encompass the urban core, a joint military base, several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.
Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 1⁄2 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world. For this reason, the Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for many international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.
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