How to Become an Electrician in Montgomery Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Montgomery AL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many variables to consider. For example, some potential students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have found several that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications 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 qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Montgomery AL
There are multiple options to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Montgomery AL. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short explanations of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Alabama vocational and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Alabama colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Montgomery AL can perform a wide range of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Montgomery AL
An alternative that you might have looked at is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more accommodating alternative for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Driving expenses from Montgomery AL are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Montgomery AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned 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 crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Montgomery AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Montgomery AL graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Montgomery AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school 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, consult with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Montgomery AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Montgomery residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can 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 sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Montgomery AL, check that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask 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 Montgomery AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Montgomery AL area.
Montgomery is the capital city of the U.S. state of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County. Named for Richard Montgomery, it stands beside the Alabama River, on the coastal Plain of the Gulf is Mexico. In the 2010 Census, Montgomery's population was 212,237. It is the second most populous city in Alabama, after Birmingham, and is the 115th most populous in the United States. The Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area's population in 2010 was estimated at 374,536; it is the fourth largest in the state and 136th among United States metropolitan areas.
The city was incorporated in 1819 as a merger of two towns situated along the Alabama River. It became the state capital in 1846, representing the shift of power to the south-central area of Alabama with the growth of cotton as a commodity crop of the Black Belt and the rise of Mobile as a mercantile port on the Gulf Coast. In February 1861, Montgomery was chosen the first capital of the Confederate States of America, which it remained until the Confederate seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia, in May of that year. In the middle of the 20th century, Montgomery was a major center of events and protests in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches.
In addition to housing many Alabama government agencies, Montgomery has a large military presence, due to Maxwell Air Force Base; public universities Alabama State University, Troy University (Montgomery campus), and Auburn University at Montgomery; two private post-secondary institutions, Faulkner University and Huntingdon College; high-tech manufacturing, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama; and many cultural attractions, such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Choose the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Montgomery AL
Selecting the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Montgomery AL.
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