How to Become an Electrician in Jacksonville Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Jacksonville AL. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many factors to examine. For instance, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Jacksonville AL
There are several options to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Jacksonville AL. You can enroll in 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 alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to finish and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Jacksonville AL can carry out a vast array of services, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be earned in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 3 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Jacksonville AL
An option that you may have looked at is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving expenses from Jacksonville AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Jacksonville AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Jacksonville AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may result in 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Jacksonville AL grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Jacksonville AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Jacksonville AL electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Jacksonville home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction 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 experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Jacksonville AL, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Jacksonville AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Jacksonville AL area.
Jacksonville is a city in Calhoun County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 12,548, which is a 49% increase since 2000. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Jacksonville State University is located here, which is a center of commerce and one of the largest employers in the area.
Jacksonville was founded in 1833 on land purchased from Creek Indian Chief "Du-Hoag" Ladiga. First called Drayton, the town was renamed to honor President Andrew Jackson in 1834. There are a couple Civil War monuments in town, including a statue of Major John Pelham in the city cemetery and a statue of a Confederate soldier in the middle of the square. Jacksonville served as the county seat for Calhoun County until the 20th century when it moved to Anniston. Jacksonville State University was founded here in 1883.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.8 square miles (25.5 km2), of which 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.10%, is water. Jacksonville is located in a valley between Choccolocco Mountain to the east and smaller ridges to the west.
Enroll in the Right Electrical Trade School near Jacksonville AL
Picking the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical tech school that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal 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. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate 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. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Jacksonville AL.
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