How to Become an Electrician in Rainsville Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Rainsville AL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of factors to examine. For example, many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole things that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Rainsville AL
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Rainsville AL. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as common as the first three options. In many cases these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are short explanations of the three most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Alabama vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who wish to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to finish and are provided by Alabama community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Alabama colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed before licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Rainsville AL can undertake a multitude of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about four to five years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly test electrical theory and general knowledge, 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 available differ by state and may be earned in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves three 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Rainsville AL
An alternative that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more accommodating alternative 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 competitors. Driving expenses from Rainsville AL are also minimized and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Rainsville AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Rainsville AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Rainsville AL students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Rainsville AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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, check with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Rainsville AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Rainsville residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training 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 big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Rainsville AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Rainsville AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Rainsville AL area.
Rainsville is a city in DeKalb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,948, up from 4,499 in 2000. Rainsville is located on top of Sand Mountain, a southern extension of the Cumberland Plateau.
An EF5 tornado struck the city on April 27, 2011, leaving 25 fatalities. It initially touched down 10 miles (16 km) to the southwest in Lakeview, causing structural damage to small buildings and snapping trees. It grew in intensity, and the path width increased from around fifty yards to a half a mile, as the rotation entered the Rainsville and Sylvania communities. Damage included houses that were completely removed from foundations and debris scattered for about one mile, trees debarked, and a few mobile homes were destroyed with debris strewn for about a mile downstream. In Sylvania, some of these houses removed from foundations contained anchor bolts and foundation straps.
Rainsville is located northwest of the center of DeKalb County at 34°29′32″N 85°50′43″W / 34.49222°N 85.84528°W / 34.49222; -85.84528 (34.492258, -85.845316). It is bordered to the northeast by Sylvania, to the northwest by Powell, to the southwest by Shiloh, and to the southeast by Pine Ridge.
Choose the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Rainsville AL
Selecting the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. 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 necessity that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Rainsville AL.
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