How to Become an Electrician in Alexander City Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Alexander City AL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many factors to examine. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Alexander City AL
There are several ways to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Alexander City AL. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are brief summaries of the three most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Alabama trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards those who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are offered by Alabama community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Alexander City AL can perform a multitude of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around four to five years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually 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 distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails three 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you pick not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Alexander City AL
An option that you might have contemplated is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning can be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Driving expenses from Alexander City AL are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be available online also. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Alexander City AL region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Alexander City AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent 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 alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Alexander City AL graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Alexander City AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school 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, talk to the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Alexander City AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Alexander City residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Alexander City AL, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Alexander City AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Alexander City AL area.
Alexander City, Alabama
Alexander City, known to locals as "Alex City", is a city in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, United States, with a population of some 14,875. It is known for Lake Martin with its 750 miles (1,210 km) of wooded shoreline and 44,000 acres (18,000 ha) of water. Lake Martin stands on the Tallapoosa River and offers boating, swimming, fishing, golfing, and camping. Many neighborhoods and luxury homes are located on the lake.
Alexander City was incorporated in 1872 as Youngsville, after its founder James Young. In 1873, the Savannah and Memphis Railroad came to the city. The city was renamed in honor of the railroad's President Edward Porter Alexander, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg for the Confederate States.
On June 13, 1902, at 1 pm, a fire broke out in the Alexander City Machine shop and destroyed much of the town. At the time, Alexander City did not have a water system and all buildings, including the telegraph office, post office and three banks were burned.
Choose the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Alexander City AL
Selecting the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the course of study 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 determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Alexander City AL.
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