How to Become an Electrician in Lafayette Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Lafayette AL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, many prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Lafayette AL
There are multiple options to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Lafayette AL. 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 prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are short explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Alabama institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Lafayette AL can undertake a wide range of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually about four to five years of experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be acquired in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 3 levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only furnishes a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Lafayette AL
An option that you may have contemplated is selecting an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more practical choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting costs from Lafayette AL are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Lafayette AL region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Lafayette AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many 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 of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Lafayette AL graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational 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 electrical contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Lafayette AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Lafayette AL electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lafayette home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out 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 Lafayette AL, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Lafayette AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lafayette AL area.
LaFayette (/ləˈfeɪ.ɛt, -ˈfaɪ-/ lə-F(A)Y-et, /ˈlʌfeɪ.ɛt/ LUF-ay-et) is the county seat of Chambers County, Alabama, United States, 47 miles (76 km) northwest of Columbus, Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 3,003.
Chambers County was formed in 1832. The newly elected county officials opted to locate the county seat as near as possible to the center of the county. Lots for the new town were auctioned in October 1833, with proceeds from the sale financing the construction of a courthouse and jail. The town was first called "Chambersville", but by the time of incorporation on January 7, 1835, the town name had been changed to "Lafayette", named after the Marquis de Lafayette; its spelling was changed to "LaFayette" due to the influence of newspaper editor Johnson J. Hooper, who created a fictional character called Captain Simon Suggs, a backwoods southerner who pronounced the town's name as "La Fait". The city's newspaper, The LaFayette Sun, was founded under the name The Alabama Standard in April 1841 and adopted its current name on August 3, 1881.
Lafayette is the birthplace of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. An 8-foot (2.4 m) bronze statue, executed by sculptor Casey Downing Jr. of Mobile, Alabama, was erected in Louis' honor in front of the Chambers County courthouse. It is also the hometown of Hoyt L. Sherman, one of artist Roy Lichtenstein's principal art professor/mentors at Ohio State University.
Pick the Right Electrician Tech School near Lafayette AL
Choosing the best electrical 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 a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Lafayette AL.
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