How to Enroll in the Right Electrician Trade School near Soldotna Alaska
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Soldotna AK. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of points to consider. For instance, some students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options
There are several options to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Soldotna AK. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are short summaries of the three most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Alaska vocational and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to complete and are provided by Alaska community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Alaska institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Soldotna AK can perform a vast array of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be obtained in several 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 crucial that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools
An alternative that you might have considered is choosing an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning may be a more accommodating choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Driving expenses from Soldotna AK are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Soldotna AK region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria 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 online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have earned 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, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Soldotna AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Soldotna AK students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Soldotna AK area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Soldotna AK electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Soldotna residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Soldotna AK, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
What Do I Need To Do To Become An Electrician Soldotna Alaska
Choosing the right electrician trade school 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 What Do I Need To Do To Become An Electrician and wanting more information on the topic Electrician Class. But as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician tech school that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Soldotna AK.
More Electric Locations in Alaska
Soldotna is a home rule city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 4,163, up from 3,759 in 2000. It is the seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
Soldotna is located in the Southcentral portion of Alaska on the central-western portion of the Kenai Peninsula. The city limits span 7 square miles along the Kenai River, which empties into the Cook Inlet in the nearby city of Kenai. The Kenai River was selected by CNN Travel as one of the "World's 15 Best Rivers for Travelers," due to its fishing and hunting opportunities. Soldotna is located on the western edge of the vast Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area spanning nearly 2 million acres and home to bears, moose, caribou, sheep, and many fish and bird species.
The city is located at the junction of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway, which has enabled Soldotna to develop as a service and retail hub for the Central Peninsula as well as for travelers between Anchorage and Homer. The Central Peninsula Hospital serves the medical needs of the region's residents and tourists. The Kenai Peninsula College, a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage, operates the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna. Additionally, the headquarters of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are located in the city.