How to Become an Electrician in Ashford Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Ashford AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that must be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Ashford AL
There are three general options to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Ashford AL. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Alabama vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by Alabama community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Alabama colleges, but are less preferred at 4 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 performed prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Ashford AL can undertake a wide range of services, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around four to five years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be obtained in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases includes 3 levels of proficiency:
- 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 select not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Ashford AL
A possibility that you might have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating alternative for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling expenses from Ashford AL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be available on line also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Ashford AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Ashford AL school and program are 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 quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Ashford AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Ashford AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain 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, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Ashford AL electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Ashford residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Ashford AL, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Ashford AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Ashford AL area.
Ashford is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town was incorporated in June 1891. For most of its history, it was a center for naval stores production, pulpwood harvesting, and cotton agriculture. The population was 2,148 at the 2010 census, up from 1,853 at the 2000 census.
Ashford is located slightly northeast of the center of Houston County at 31°11′3″N 85°14′7″W / 31.18417°N 85.23528°W / 31.18417; -85.23528 (31.184032, -85.235286).U.S. Route 84 passes through the southern part of the town, leading west 9 miles (14 km) to Dothan and southeast 24 miles (39 km) to Donalsonville, Georgia. The Chattahoochee River, which forms the Georgia state line, is 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Ashford on US 84.
Ashford's current mayor, Jonathon Grecu has tendered his resignation effective December 31, 2017. The city council consists of five members, who have 60 days to select new mayor. If the city council is unable to select one, the appointment goes to Governor for 30 days. If governor Ivey does not appoint the replacement at this time, then the special election is set by Probate Judge.
Choose the Right Electrician Vocational School near Ashford AL
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Ashford AL.
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