How to Become an Electrician in Leesburg Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Leesburg AL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of points to examine. For instance, some students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting 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 being an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Leesburg AL
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Leesburg AL. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are brief explanations of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Alabama technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are offered by Alabama community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Leesburg AL can carry out a vast array 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 finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails three levels of proficiency:
- 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 imperative that the electrician trade school that you select not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Leesburg AL
An option that you might have looked at is choosing an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Driving costs from Leesburg AL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be accessed online also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Leesburg AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Leesburg AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. 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 might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Leesburg AL graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Leesburg AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build 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 up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Leesburg AL electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Leesburg home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Leesburg AL, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Leesburg AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Leesburg AL area.
Leesburg is a city in Lake County, Florida, United States. The population was 15,956 at the 2000 census. As of 2005, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 19,086. Leesburg is in central Florida, between Lake Harris and Lake Griffin, at the head of the Oklawaha River system. It is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Leesburg is the home of Lake-Sumter State College (LSSC) with campuses also in Clermont, Florida and Sumterville. It is also the home of Beacon College.
Leesburg was first settled in 1857 by Evander McIver Lee. Several of his brothers followed him to the area. One of them, Calvin Lee, was credited with giving the town its name. The city was first incorporated in 1875, and was the county seat of Sumter County for a time until Lake County was formed in 1887.
In the early 20th century, Leesburg was an important center for watermelon production. In 1930, it held its first Watermelon Festival, an annual tradition that lasted until watermelon production in the area dwindled to the point that watermelons for the last festival in 1957 had to be brought in from outside the area. In 1938, the WPA began work on the Venetian Gardens waterside park, on the shores of Lake Harris. Its canals and gardens have been a centerpiece of the community ever since.
Choose the Ideal Electrician Technical School near Leesburg AL
Selecting the right electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Leesburg AL.
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