How to Choose the Right Electrician Tech School near Wheeling West Virginia
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Wheeling WV. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to consider. For instance, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in more 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 accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Wheeling WV. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the three most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by West Virginia technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are offered by West Virginia junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some West Virginia colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Wheeling WV can undertake a multitude of functions, 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 period of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in numerous specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online
An alternative that you may have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Driving expenses from Wheeling WV are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be accessed 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 address in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Wheeling WV region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Wheeling WV school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Wheeling WV graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Wheeling WV area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Wheeling WV electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Wheeling home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn 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 handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Wheeling WV, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide 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 due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Become An Electrician Online Wheeling West Virginia
Selecting the right electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Become An Electrician Online and wanting more information on the topic School For Electrician. But as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Wheeling WV.
More Electric Locations in West Virginia
Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located almost entirely in Ohio County, of which it is the county seat, it lies along the Ohio River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Wheeling was originally a settlement in the British colony of Virginia and later an important city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wheeling was the first state capital of West Virginia. Due to its location along major transportation routes, including the Ohio River, National Road, and the B&O Railroad, Wheeling became a manufacturing center in the late nineteenth century. After experiencing the closing of factories and substantial population loss following World War II, Wheeling's major industries now include healthcare, education, law and legal services, entertainment and tourism, and energy.
The origins of the name "Wheeling" are disputed. One of the more credible explanations is that the word comes from the Lenni-Lenape phrase wih link or wee lunk, which meant "place of the head" or "place of the skull." This name supposedly referred to a white settler who was scalped and decapitated. His severed head was displayed at the confluence of Wheeling Creek and the Ohio River. Native Americans had inhabited the area for thousands of years. In the 17th century, the Iroquois from present-day New York state conquered the upper Ohio Valley, pushing out other tribes and maintaining the area as their hunting ground.
Originally explored by the French, Wheeling still has a lead plate remnant that the explorer Céloron de Blainville buried in 1749 at the mouth of Wheeling Creek to mark his claim. Later, Christopher Gist and George Washington surveyed the land in 1751 and 1770, respectively.
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