How to Become an Electrician in Ozark Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Ozark AL. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many points to consider. For instance, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified several 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 qualifications that need to be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Ozark AL
There are three general options to receive electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Ozark AL. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you want to become certified. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to finish and are provided by Alabama community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Alabama colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Ozark AL can carry out a vast array 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 completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be acquired in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you choose not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Ozark AL
A possibility that you may have contemplated is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not completely 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 accessed online, internet learning can be a more convenient option for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting costs from Ozark AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available on line also. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Ozark AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications 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 must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have received 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, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Ozark AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 finish the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct 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 directory of alumni, which can mean 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 a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Ozark AL grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught along 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 businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Ozark AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Ozark AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Ozark home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 get 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 big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak 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 schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Ozark AL, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out 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 Ozark AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Ozark AL area.
Ozark is the principal city of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area, as well as a part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area. Fort Rucker, the primary flight training base for Army Aviation, abuts Ozark.
The first known European settler in Ozark was John Merrick, Sr., a veteran of the Revolutionary War, in 1822. In honor of him, the town was named Merricks. It was later changed to Woodshop, which was its name when the town received its post office. The first appearance of the name Ozark was in 1855, when the citizens requested a name change.
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,119 people, 6,126 households, and 4,233 families residing in the city. The population density was 441.5 inhabitants per square mile (170.5/km2). There were 6,955 housing units at an average density of 203.1 per square mile (78.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 68.28% White, 28.30% Black or African American, 0.67% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 1.53% from two or more races. 2.08% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right Electrical Vocational School near Ozark AL
Picking the right electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Ozark AL.
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