How to Become an Electrician in Clanton Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Clanton AL. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many factors to consider. For instance, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only things that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Clanton AL
There are three general ways to obtain electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Clanton AL. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are short descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Alabama institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Clanton AL can carry out a vast array of functions, such as 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 be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about four to five years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases involves three 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician vocational school that you select not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Clanton AL
A possibility that you may have considered is choosing an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs have become more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Clanton AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Clanton AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Clanton AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Clanton AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Clanton AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Clanton AL electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Clanton home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger 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 instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Clanton AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Clanton AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Clanton AL area.
Clanton is a city in Chilton County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 8,619. The city is the county seat of Chilton County. Clanton is near the site of the geographic center of the U.S state of Alabama.
The town was founded by Alfred Baker in 1868, when Chilton County was formed. Prior to establishment in 1868, the Town of Clanton was known as the community of "Goose Pond". Baker County was renamed to Chilton County and the community of "Goose Pond" became the Town of Clanton. Clanton was named in honor of General James H. Clanton, a brigadier in the Confederate States Army, and was incorporated on April 23, 1873. Baker was also elected first mayor of the town.
Nearby Lay Lake Dam and Mitchell Dam became Alabama Power's first two dams in the state, bringing economic improvements to the area. Immigrants played a part in starting the county's peach industry more than a century ago. Today, the peach industry is the number one industry in Chilton County, not only bringing fame to the county, but also millions of dollars to the local economy. The city of Clanton constructed a water tower in the form of a peach in 1993, becoming a landmark for travelers along Interstate 65.
Enroll in the Right Electrical Trade School near Clanton AL
Picking the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor 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 commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Clanton AL.
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