How to Become an Electrician in Nikiski Alaska
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Nikiski AK. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole things that should be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when picking an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Nikiski AK
There are several approaches to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Nikiski AK. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Alaska trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to complete and are offered by Alaska junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Alaska colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Nikiski AK can undertake a multitude of functions, including installing, replacing and testing 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 states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around four to five years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be earned in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure 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 crucial that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Nikiski AK
A possibility that you may have contemplated is choosing an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more accommodating alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving expenses from Nikiski AK are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Topics 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. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Nikiski AK area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Nikiski AK program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training program 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Nikiski AK grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Nikiski AK area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Nikiski AK electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Nikiski home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging 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. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
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 go to classes at night or on weekends near Nikiski AK, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Nikiski AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Nikiski AK area.
Nikiski is located at 60°42′28″N 151°15′46″W / 60.70778°N 151.26278°W / 60.70778; -151.26278 (60.707891, -151.262646) on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula. It lies along the shore of Cook Inlet between Salamatof to the south and the Swanson River to the northeast. It is bordered across the Swanson River by the Point Possession CDP.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Nikiski CDP has a total area of 75.9 square miles (196.7 km2), of which 69.4 square miles (179.8 km2) are land and 6.5 square miles (16.8 km2), or 8.57%, are water. The CDP is in a low-lying region covered by several lakes, including Stormy Lake, Suneva Lake, Daniels Lake, Timberlost Lake, Island Lake, Foreland Lake, Bernice Lake, and Cabin Lake.
Nikiski first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated Tinneh villages of "Kultuk" (AKA Nikishka No. 3) and "Titukilsk and Nikishka". Kultuk had a population of 17, and Titukilsk and Nikishka had a population of 57, all of whom were Tinneh Natives. There apparently were no census reports from 1880 until 1980, when the area was organized as "Nikishka" and made a census-designated place (CDP). The name was altered to "Nikiski" in 1990 and has reported as such on each successive census.
Find the Right Electrician Tech School near Nikiski AK
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Nikiski AK.
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