How to Become an Electrician in Enterprise Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Enterprise AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to consider. For example, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Enterprise AL
There are three general approaches to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Enterprise AL. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are brief explanations of the three most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Alabama colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Enterprise AL can undertake a wide range of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually 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 trade school that you select not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Enterprise AL
A possibility that you may have contemplated is selecting an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more accommodating option for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting costs from Enterprise AL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Enterprise AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Enterprise AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many 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 of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train 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 graduates, which may produce 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 industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Enterprise AL graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Enterprise AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Enterprise AL electrical company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Enterprise residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors 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 reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Enterprise AL, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Enterprise AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Enterprise AL area.
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County and the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
Enroll in the Right Electrical Trade School near Enterprise AL
Choosing the right electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Enterprise AL.
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