How to Become an Electrician in Juneau Alaska
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Juneau AK. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located some that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final decision when choosing an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Juneau AK
There are three general ways to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Juneau AK. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Alaska trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to complete and are provided by Alaska junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Alaska colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Juneau AK can perform a wide range of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing 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 practical experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be earned in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only furnishes a solid educational 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 Programs Online in Juneau AK
An option that you may have considered is choosing an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more accommodating option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Driving expenses from Juneau AK are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available online as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Juneau AK region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Juneau AK program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train 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 may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Juneau AK students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Juneau AK area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Juneau AK electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Juneau residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might 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 larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Juneau AK, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Juneau AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Juneau AK area.
The City and Borough of Juneau (/ˈdʒuːnoʊ/ JOO-noh; Tlingit: Dzánti K'ihéeni [ˈtsántʰì kʼìˈhíːnì]), commonly known as Juneau, is the capital city of Alaska. It is a unified municipality on Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, and it is the second largest city in the United States by area. Juneau has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of what was the District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900. The municipality unified on July 1, 1970, when the city of Juneau merged with the city of Douglas and the surrounding Greater Juneau Borough to form the current municipality, which is larger by area than both Rhode Island and Delaware.
Downtown Juneau (58°18′07″N 134°25′11″W / 58.30194°N 134.41972°W / 58.30194; -134.41972) is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of the 2010 census, the City and Borough had a population of 31,276. In 2014, the population estimate from the United States Census Bureau was 32,406, making it the second most populous city in Alaska after Anchorage.Fairbanks, however, is the state's second most populous metropolitan area, with roughly 100,000 residents. Juneau's daily population can increase by roughly 6,000 people from visiting cruise ships between the months of May and September.
The city is named after a gold prospector from Quebec, Joe Juneau, though the place was for a time called Rockwell and then Harrisburg (after Juneau's co-prospector, Richard Harris). The Tlingit name of the town is Dzántik'i Héeni ("Base of the Flounder’s River," dzánti ‘flounder,’ –kʼi ‘base,’ héen ‘river’), and Auke Bay just north of Juneau proper is called Áak'w ("Little lake," áa ‘lake,’ -kʼ ‘diminutive’) in Tlingit. The Taku River, just south of Juneau, was named after the cold t'aakh wind, which occasionally blows down from the mountains.
Choose the Right Electrician Vocational School near Juneau AK
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Juneau AK.
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