How to Become an Electrician in Blountsville Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Blountsville AL. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of factors to consider. For example, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located some that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Blountsville AL
There are three general ways to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Blountsville AL. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Alabama vocational and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Alabama institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Blountsville AL can undertake a wide range of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around four to five years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations 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 vocational school that you select not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Blountsville AL
An option that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning might be a more convenient choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Commuting expenses from Blountsville AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. Each of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Blountsville AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to 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 also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Blountsville AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 Blountsville AL students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Blountsville AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Blountsville AL electrical contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Blountsville home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Blountsville AL, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Blountsville AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Blountsville AL area.
Blount County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature on February 6, 1818, from land ceded to the federal government by the Creek Nation on August 9, 1814. It was named for Gov. Willie G. Blount of Tennessee, who provided assistance to settlers in Alabama during the Creek War of 1813-14. It lies in the northeastern section of the state, generally known as the mineral region.
What became Blountsville appears on an 1819 map as the mixed Creek/Cherokee Native American village of "Wassausey" (meaning Bear Meat Cabin, the name of an Indian translator who lived there). The town was established by Caleb Fryley and Johnny Jones in 1816 as Bear Meat Cabin. The post office was opened as Blountsville on October 20, 1825, and incorporated on December 13, 1827. It was the county seat until 1889 when the government was moved to Oneonta.
There were many schools in the town in the early years: The Academy, Blount College and the District Agricultural School, plus the public schools. The Blount County Courthouse and jail was built in 1833 and remained there until it was moved to Oneonta. A major crossroads in early Alabama, Blountsville became a Confederate depot for the cavalry. Confederate forces led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union forces led by General Abel Streight skirmished briefly in the town on May 1, 1863, and Major General Lovell H. Rousseau and his Union cavalry occupied the town in July 1864. Blount College was in the building that was originally the courthouse. It was established in 1890. The beautiful Blountsville United Methodist Church was established in 1818 and is the oldest building in Blountsville and is still in use today. Another old building in Blountsville was once known as the Barclift House. Built in 1834 as Hendricks Tavern, it is now owned and is being restored by the Ortiz family.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Trade School near Blountsville AL
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Blountsville AL.
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