How to Enroll in the Best Electrician Trade School near Girdwood Alaska
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Girdwood AK. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to examine. For example, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have found some that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options
There are multiple options to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Girdwood AK. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Alaska trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are provided by Alaska community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Alaska institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Girdwood AK can carry out a multitude of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about four to five years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be acquired in many specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician trade school that you pick not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools
A possibility that you may have looked at is choosing an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Girdwood AK are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Girdwood AK area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about 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 while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Girdwood AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean 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 a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Girdwood AK graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Girdwood AK area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Girdwood AK electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Girdwood home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm 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 in the evening or on weekends near Girdwood AK, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Electrical Online Courses Girdwood Alaska
Picking the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Electrical Online Courses and wanting more information on the topic Electricians Training Courses. But as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Girdwood AK.
More Electric Locations in Alaska
Girdwood is a resort town within the southern extent of the Municipality of Anchorage in the state of Alaska. Located near the end of the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, Girdwood lies in a valley in the southwestern Chugach Mountains, surrounded by seven glaciers feeding into a number of creeks, which either converge within the valley or empty directly into the arm. Girdwood is typically accessed by the Seward Highway (Milepost 90), with the main line of the Alaska Railroad paralleling the highway. By road distance, most of the community lies within 35 to 40 miles (56 to 64 km) of downtown Anchorage. According to 2014 estimates, a little under 2,000 people live in the valley.
Founded as a community to supply miners during the Turnagain Arm gold rushes of the 1890s, Girdwood was mostly a small, quiet place until the middle of the 20th century. Two events drastically altered that. The first was the establishment of Alyeska Resort along the slopes of Mount Alyeska, which became an international destination coincidental with Anchorage's civic promotion of itself as "The Air Crossroads of the World". The second was the 1964 earthquake, which devastated the original townsite located directly along the arm. Following the earthquake, most of the town moved further up the valley to a new townsite, though a few homes remained and a strip mall was later constructed along the Seward Highway. Historically dominated in the years since the resort's opening by seasonally-occupied vacation homes and seasonal activity at the resort, the opening of the Alyeska Prince Hotel during the 1990s has shifted the resort, and hence Girdwood as a whole, more towards year-round activity and a year-round economy. This has led to periodic debates about community growth and affordability of housing for resort workers, many of whom over the years have resorted to camping illegally on public lands.
Girdwood still revolves heavily around seasonal activity, with skiing and snowboarding at Alyeska Resort bringing visitors and their money into the community. Summer activities are also popular, which include hiking, fishing and rafting. The Girdwood Forest Fair, held every July, is the community's most significant visitor attraction apart from resort-related activities. Girdwood is located within the northernmost extent of rain forest on Earth, and also serves as the closest point of access to Chugach National Forest from Anchorage proper.
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