How to Become an Electrician in Homer Alaska
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Homer AK. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Homer AK
There are several approaches to obtain electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Homer AK. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. In many cases these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Bellow are short descriptions of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Alaska technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards those who would like to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to finish and are provided by Alaska junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some Alaska institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be performed before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Homer AK can perform a wide range of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually about four to five years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases includes 3 levels of competency:
- 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 important that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Homer AK
An alternative that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Driving costs from Homer AK are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Homer AK region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest 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 selection, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Homer AK school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also suggest 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Homer AK students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous 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 inside their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Homer AK area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area 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 in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Homer AK electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Homer home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees 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 observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Homer AK, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Homer AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Homer AK area.
Homer is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is 218 miles southwest of Anchorage. According to the 2010 Census, the population is 5,003, up from 3,946 in 2000. Long known as The "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." Homer is also nicknamed "the end of the road," and more recently, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea."
Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mi (7.2 km)) long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbor.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58 km2), of which 10.6 square miles (27 km2) is land and 11.9 square miles (31 km2) is water. The total area is 52.83% water.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Trade School near Homer AK
Selecting the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrician tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Homer AK.
Other Cool Cities in Alaska