How to Become an Electrician in Elmendorf Afb Alaska
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Elmendorf Afb AK. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to consider. For example, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Elmendorf Afb AK
There are multiple options to obtain electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Elmendorf Afb AK. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Alaska technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to finish and are offered by Alaska junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Alaska colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Elmendorf Afb AK can perform a vast array of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be obtained in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 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 important that the electrician trade school that you choose not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Elmendorf Afb AK
A possibility that you may have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become 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 some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning may be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Travelling expenses from Elmendorf Afb AK are also lessened and some of the study materials may be available online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Elmendorf Afb AK region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to 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 considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Elmendorf Afb AK school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct 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 can produce 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 also that it has the network of contacts to assist Elmendorf Afb AK graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Elmendorf Afb AK area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job 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 trained 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, check with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Elmendorf Afb AK electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Elmendorf Afb home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience 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 handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Elmendorf Afb AK, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Elmendorf Afb AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Elmendorf Afb AK area.
Structure of the United States Armed Forces
The chain of command leads from the President (as commander-in-chief) through the Secretary of Defense down to the newest recruits. The United States armed forces are organized through the United States Department of Defense, which oversees a complex structure of joint command and control functions with many units reporting to various commanding officers. The following is an incomplete list of the various major military units, commands, and DOD offices and agencies, including civilian and military chains of command.
Choose the Right Electrical Trade School near Elmendorf Afb AK
Choosing the right electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Elmendorf Afb AK.
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