How to Become an Electrician in Trussville Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Trussville AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician school. We will discuss 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 educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Trussville AL
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Trussville AL. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Alabama technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who would like to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to finish and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Trussville AL can carry out a vast array of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally around four to five years of experience is required 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 an optional means for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be earned in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 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 imperative that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Trussville AL
An option that you may have contemplated is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools have become more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may 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 training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Trussville AL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Trussville AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. 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 an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Trussville AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Trussville AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Trussville AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Trussville AL electrical contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Trussville residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise 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 meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Trussville AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Trussville AL area.
Trussville is a city in Jefferson and St. Clair counties in the State of Alabama. It is a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its estimated 2015 population was 21,023.
Trussville has been recognized as one of the most livable cities in the state and country. It was named one of the ten best towns in Alabama for young families, listed among the five best Birmingham suburbs, and included in Money magazine's list of 100 best places to live in America.
The first European settler to establish residence in the area was Warren Truss, who entered the area with his brothers and constructed a grist mill on the Cahaba River in 1821. Truss was a North Carolina man of English descent. Trussville remained an agricultural community until after the Civil War, when the Alabama-Chattanooga Railway was built through the city. By 1886 a blast furnace was built on what is now the site of the new Cahaba Elementary School. Trussville was listed as an incorporated community on the 1890 and 1900 U.S. Census rolls. At some point after 1900 until its reincorporation in 1947, it did not appear on census records.
Find the Right Electrician Trade School near Trussville AL
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Trussville AL.
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