How to Become an Electrician in Greenville Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Greenville AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of points to consider. For instance, many prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Greenville AL
There are three general ways to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Greenville AL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to complete and are offered by Alabama community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Alabama colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be carried out prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Greenville AL can undertake a vast array of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually around four to five years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Greenville AL
An option that you might have considered is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Greenville AL are also minimized and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online tech schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Greenville AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Greenville AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Greenville AL graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Greenville AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Greenville AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Greenville home. Remember 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 important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Greenville AL, check that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Greenville AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Greenville AL area.
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,135. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the official Alabama state flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in Greenville with legislative sponsors LaMont Glass and H.B. Taylor.
Greenville was first settled in 1819. Its original name was Buttsville, but after becoming the county seat in 1822, its name was changed to Greenville, in remembrance of the former locale in South Carolina of many of the original settlers. The first county seat was at Fort Dale, a fortification that was named for Sam Dale, who fought to defend the area during the Creek War. The site of Fort Dale lies on the north of the city near the Fort Dale Cemetery, along what is now Alabama Highway 185.
The namesake of the county, Captain William Butler, was killed during the Creek War. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is across from the oldest church in Butler County, the First United Methodist Church of Greenville.
Choose the Right Electrician Vocational School near Greenville AL
Choosing the best electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Greenville AL.
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