How to Become an Electrician in Kenai Alaska
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Kenai AK. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, some potential students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Kenai AK
There are three general options to obtain electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Kenai AK. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. In many cases these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are brief explanations of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Alaska vocational and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who would like to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are provided by Alaska junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Alaska institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Kenai AK can undertake a vast array of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves three 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Kenai AK
A possibility that you may have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely 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, distance learning might be a more accommodating option for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving costs from Kenai AK are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Kenai AK region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Kenai AK program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Kenai AK grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Kenai AK area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Kenai AK electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Kenai residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Kenai AK, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Kenai AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Kenai AK area.
Kenai (/ˈkiːnaɪ/, KEY-nigh) (Dena'ina: Shk'ituk't) is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census, up from 6,942 in 2000.
The city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina (Tanaina) word 'ken' or 'kena', which means 'flat, meadow, open area with few trees; base, low ridge', according to the Dena'ina Topical Dictionary by James Kari, Ph.D., published in 2007. This describes the area along the mouth and portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze", which is a Russian term for "people of the flats", or "Kenai people". This name was later adopted when they were incorporated as the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in the early 1970s.
In 1786 Pytor Zaikov built Fort Nikolaevskaia for the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company on the site of modern Kenai, being the first European settlement on the Alaskan mainland. Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797, culminating in an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas, later dubbed the battle of Kenai. Over one hundred deaths occurred from all involved parties. Later, in 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Kenai AK
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal 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 differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Kenai AK.
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