How to Become an Electrician in Kodiak Alaska
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Kodiak AK. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, many students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when choosing an electrician training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Kodiak AK
There are multiple approaches to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Kodiak AK. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. In many cases these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Alaska vocational and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are offered by Alaska community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered 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 performed prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Kodiak AK can perform a wide range of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be obtained in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 3 levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies 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 pick not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Kodiak AK
An alternative that you may have considered is selecting an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more convenient choice for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Commuting costs from Kodiak AK are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Kodiak AK area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs 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 an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Kodiak AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Kodiak AK students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Kodiak AK area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Kodiak AK electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Kodiak residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving 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 challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Kodiak AK, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Kodiak AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Kodiak AK area.
Kodiak (Alutiiq: Sun'aq; Russian: Кадьяк, tr. Kadʹyak) is one of seven communities and the main city on Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2014 estimates put the population at 6,304.
After the Alaska Purchase by the United States in 1867, Kodiak became a commercial fishing center which continues to be the mainstay of its economy. A lesser economic influence includes tourism, mainly by those seeking outdoor adventure trips. Salmon, halibut, the unique Kodiak bear, elk, Sitka deer (black tail), and mountain goats attract hunting tourists as well as fishermen to the Kodiak Archipelago. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains an office in the city and a website to help hunters and fishermen obtain the proper permits and learn about the laws specific to the Kodiak area.
The city has four public elementary schools, a middle and high school, as well as a branch of the University of Alaska. An antenna farm at the summit of Pillar Mountain above the city historically provided communication with the outside world before fiber optic cable was run. Transportation to and from the island is provided by ferry service on the Alaska Marine Highway as well as local commercial airlines.
Choose the Right Electrician Vocational School near Kodiak AK
Choosing the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Kodiak AK.
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