How to Become an Electrician in Kotzebue Alaska
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Kotzebue AK. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many variables to consider. For example, many potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that should be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when picking an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Kotzebue AK
There are multiple approaches to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Kotzebue AK. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Bellow are short explanations of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Alaska technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to complete and are offered by Alaska community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Alaska institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be performed prior to licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Kotzebue AK can undertake a multitude of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing 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 states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be obtained in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you select not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Kotzebue AK
An option that you might have looked at is choosing an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning may be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Commuting costs from Kotzebue AK are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Kotzebue AK area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Kotzebue AK program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Kotzebue AK students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Kotzebue AK area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Kotzebue AK electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Kotzebue residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Kotzebue AK, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Kotzebue AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Kotzebue AK area.
Kotzebue (/ˈkɒtsəbjuː/ KOTS-ə-bew) or Kikiktagruk (Inupiaq: Qikiqtaġruk [qekeqtɑʁʐuk]) is a city in the Northwest Arctic Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the borough's seat, by far its largest community and the economic and transportation hub of the subregion of Alaska encompassing the borough. The population of the city was 3,201 as of the 2010 census, up from 3,082 in 2000.
There is archaeological evidence that Inupiat people have lived at Kotzebue since at least the 15th century. Owing to its location and relative size, Kotzebue served as a trading and gathering center for the various communities in the region. The Noatak, Selawik and Kobuk Rivers drain into the Kotzebue Sound near Kotzebue to form a center for transportation to points inland. In addition to people from interior villages, inhabitants of the Russian Far East came to trade at Kotzebue. Furs, seal-oil, hides, rifles, ammunition, and seal skins were some of the items traded. People also gathered for competitions like the current World Eskimo Indian Olympics. With the arrival of the whalers, traders, gold seekers, and missionaries the trading center expanded.
Kotzebue was originally known as Qikiqtaġruk, which means "big island" in Iñupiatun, the language of the Iñupiat. Kotzebue gets its name from the Kotzebue Sound, which was named after Otto von Kotzebue, a Baltic German who explored the sound while searching for the Northwest Passage in the service of Russia in 1818.
Enroll in the Right Electrical Trade School near Kotzebue AK
Picking the right electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Kotzebue AK.
Other Cool Cities in Alaska