How to Become an Electrician in Albertville Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Albertville AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many factors to consider. For instance, some potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have found some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Albertville AL
There are several approaches to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Albertville AL. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or obtain 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 together with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are short explanations of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to complete and are provided by Alabama community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Albertville AL can carry out a wide range of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around four to five years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails 3 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 trade school that you choose not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Albertville AL
An alternative that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, distance learning may be a more practical option for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Commuting costs from Albertville AL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Albertville AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Albertville AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require 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 considering 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 could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, 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 Albertville AL students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Albertville AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Albertville AL electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Albertville home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Albertville AL, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Albertville AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Albertville AL area.
The area which today includes Albertville was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians until their removal to Oklahoma in the 1830s. It was, however, near the territory of the Creek nation, and several major trails which afforded communication (or military action) between the two nations crossed the area. It is believed to have been crossed by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his expeditions in 1540.
The first non-indigenous settlement in what is today Albertville began in the 1850s, and the settlement was named for Thomas A. Albert, an early settler who moved from Georgia and was a town leader until his death in 1876. The city was incorporated in 1891. A post office was established in 1910.
At about 4:10 p.m. on April 24, 1908, the city was virtually wiped out by a tornado that became commonly called "The Great Cyclone," or "The Cyclone of 1908." The storm is believed to have killed 35 people across northeastern Alabama, including 15 in Albertville. Relief was largely delivered by railroad, particularly from the nearby city of Gadsden. Trains from Gadsden transported doctors, nurses, and the Queen City Guards, the Alabama militia company based in Gadsden. The commander of the latter, future Gadsden mayor and Col. R.A. Mitchell, reported in a dispatch to Governor B.B. Comer:
Pick the Ideal Electrician Vocational School near Albertville AL
Choosing the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Albertville AL.
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