How to Become an Electrician in Wetumpka Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Wetumpka AL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Wetumpka AL
There are three general ways to obtain electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Wetumpka AL. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Alabama technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to complete and are offered by Alabama community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Alabama colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Wetumpka AL can carry out a wide range of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally around four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in various specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Wetumpka AL
An option that you may have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Travelling costs from Wetumpka AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed online as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Wetumpka AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested 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 considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Wetumpka AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Wetumpka AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Wetumpka AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Wetumpka AL electrical contractor if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Wetumpka home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Wetumpka AL, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out 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 Wetumpka AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Wetumpka AL area.
Wetumpka is a city in and the county seat of Elmore County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,528. In the early 21st century, Elmore County, long a rural area, became one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. The city is considered part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Area.
Wetumpka identifies as "The City of Natural Beauty". Among the notable landmarks are the Wetumpka crater and the Jasmine Hill Gardens, with a full-sized replica of the Temple of Hera of Olympia, Greece. Historic downtown Wetumpka developed on both sides of the Coosa River. It was near Fort Toulouse, built by French colonists in 1717, when they had claimed this territory for the king.
The word Wetumpka is derived from the Muscogee language (Creek) phrase we-wau tum-cau. The name Wetumpka is a historic Creek place word meaning "rumbling waters", believed to be a description of the sound of the nearby Coosa River at the rapids of the Devil's Staircase. The roar of the rapids reportedly could be heard for miles before the construction in the 20th century of Walter Bouldin Dam and Jordan Dam, when the river was captured as a reservoir behind the dam.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Wetumpka AL
Choosing the ideal electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered 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 tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Wetumpka AL.
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