How to Choose the Right Electrician Trade School near Wexford Pennsylvania
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Wexford PA. 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 so many points to consider. For instance, many students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have found some that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that must be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several options to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Wexford PA. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the three most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Pennsylvania trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are provided by Pennsylvania community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Pennsylvania institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be performed before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Wexford PA can carry out a multitude of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be acquired in many specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 3 levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you select not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online
A possibility that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs have become more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Commuting expenses from Wexford PA are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be available on line also. Each of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Wexford PA region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 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 chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Wexford PA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many 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 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 might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Wexford PA grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Wexford PA area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Wexford PA electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Wexford residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher 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 larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Wexford PA, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
How To Become An Electrical Technician Wexford Pennsylvania
Choosing the right electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How To Become An Electrical Technician and wanting more information on the topic Electrical Online Training. But as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Wexford PA.
More Electric Locations in Pennsylvania
Wexford is an unincorporated community in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. The area known as Wexford is split among multiple municipalities, including Franklin Park, McCandless Township, Pine Township, and Marshall Township. It is named after County Wexford in Ireland.
Home to many upper-middle-class people, Wexford's commercial landscape is dominated by a mixture of corporate chains, car dealerships, and a number of local small businesses, giving this small town much diversity. Wexford concentrated on the main thoroughfare of the "Wexford Flats", U.S. Route 19. It is also home to North Allegheny Senior High School, Pine-Richland High School, Marshall Middle School, Wexford Elementary School and Vincentian Academy.
It was ranked the twenty-eighth best place to live by Money magazine in 2005, despite it being essentially a postal zip code and a general descriptor of a section of the suburban Pittsburgh metropolitan area, not a municipality of any type. The presence of North Allegheny Senior High School, a large, well funded public high school, the numerous businesses, and a number of churches along the "Wexford Flats" gives the area a more distinct community identity than simply an otherwise unremarkable suburb in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Adjacent to Wexford is North Park and North Park lake. This area is a great asset to the community featuring many hiking/biking trails, 5-mile paved running path around the lake, many pavilions for outdoor events, outdoor ice rink, golf course, dog parks, many playgrounds, a C.O.P.E. course, and local restaurants and shops. The lake underwent construction, including dredging and refinishing shore lines, between 2009 and 2012.
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