How to Become an Electrician in Camden Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Camden AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of variables to examine. For example, many students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that need to be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final judgment when selecting an electrician 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 choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Camden AL
There are three general ways to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Camden AL. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Alabama vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are offered by Alabama community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain Alabama institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Camden AL can carry out a multitude of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases includes three 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 imperative that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Camden AL
A possibility that you may have looked at is choosing an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools 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 training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more accommodating option for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Driving expenses from Camden AL are also minimized and some of the study materials can be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Camden AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Camden AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory 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 can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Camden AL grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Camden AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Camden AL electrical contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Camden residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Camden AL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Camden AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Camden AL area.
What is now Camden was established on property donated by Thomas Dunn from his plantation holdings in order to have a new town founded on the site in 1833 to serve as the county seat. Dunn's Federal style house, built in 1825, is the oldest documented house in the town. The first county seat was in the community of Canton Bend.
The county seat was moved in 1833 to Barboursville, later renamed Camden. It had been named Barboursville in honor of United States Congressman Philip Barbour of Virginia. Incorporated in 1841, Camden was renamed by local physician John D. Caldwell in honor of his hometown of Camden, South Carolina.
The area depended on cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, which was worked by numerous African-American slaves. The earliest documented industries in the town were a brickyard, sawmill, and window fabricator. The Camden Phenix was the town's earliest known newspaper. Townspeople founded a girls' school in 1844, the Wilcox Female Seminary and Female Institute, whose red-brick Greek-Revival style building was constructed from 1845–50. In 1976 the former school was adapted to house the Wilcox County Historical Society.
Pick the Right Electrical Trade School near Camden AL
Choosing the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician tech school that you are considering 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 teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Camden AL.
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