How to Become an Electrician in Jackson Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Jackson AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to consider. For example, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are available.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Jackson AL
There are several ways to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Jackson AL. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Alabama colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed before licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Jackson AL can perform a vast array of tasks, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about four to five years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be obtained in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 3 levels of competency:
- 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 trade school that you choose not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Jackson AL
An option that you may have considered is selecting an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation 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 rest of the classes may be attended online, distance learning may be a more convenient choice for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Commuting costs from Jackson AL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Jackson AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Jackson AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training program 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Jackson AL graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Jackson AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already 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 Jackson AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Jackson home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges 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 monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Jackson AL, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Jackson AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Jackson AL area.
Al Jackson Jr.
Albert J. Jackson Jr. (November 27, 1935 – October 1, 1975) was an American drummer, producer, and songwriter. He was a founding member of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, a group of session musicians who worked for Stax Records and produced their own instrumentals. Jackson was affectionately dubbed "The Human Timekeeper" for his drumming ability. He was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
Jackson's father, Al Jackson Sr., led a jazz/swing dance band in Memphis, Tennessee. The young Jackson started drumming at an early age and began playing on stage with his father's band in 1940, at the age of five. He later played in producer and trumpeter Willie Mitchell's band and at the same time was holding down a chair in the popular Ben Branch Band.
Future bandmates Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn first heard Jackson playing in Mitchell's band at the Flamingo Room, and the all-white Manhattan Club. Mitchell had also hired Booker T. Jones for his band. It was Jones who suggested Jackson be brought to Stax. He said, "You guys need to know about Al." Dunn said that Jackson almost caused his wife to divorce him, because after finishing his own gig at one o'clock, he would stop by a club to hear Jackson and would get home at four or five in the morning; "He was that good!" said Dunn. At first, Jackson was reluctant to join Stax. He felt he could make more money playing live than doing session work. He wanted a guaranteed regular salary to come over to Stax (although he continued to play on sessions produced by Mitchell for Hi Records). And so he became the first Stax session musician to be on a weekly salary.
Find the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Jackson AL
Picking the right electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Jackson AL.
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