How to Become an Electrician in Newton Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Newton AL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have located several that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Newton AL
There are several approaches to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Newton AL. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are short explanations of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Alabama technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to complete and are provided by Alabama community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Alabama colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Newton AL can perform a multitude of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge 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 offered differ by state and can be acquired in numerous specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure 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 important that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Newton AL
An option that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning may be a more practical choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting costs from Newton AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available on line as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Newton AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Newton AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Newton AL students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Newton AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional 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 working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Newton AL electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Newton residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Newton AL, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Newton AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Newton AL area.
Cameron Jerrell Newton (born May 11, 1989) is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Auburn and was drafted as the first overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Newton is the only player in the modern era to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft within a one-year span. He was the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year, is a three-time Pro Bowler, and was named the NFL MVP in 2015.
In his rookie year, Newton broke all-time NFL rookie records for passing and rushing yards. He became the first NFL quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his first game, shattering Peyton Manning's first-game record by 120 yards. He also broke Otto Graham's 61-year-old record for passing yards by any quarterback in an NFL debut. Newton went on to become the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. He also ran for 14 touchdowns, more in a single season than any quarterback in NFL history, breaking Steve Grogan's 35-year-old record.
In 2015, Newton became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 30 touchdowns and rush for 10 in the same season (35 passing, 10 rushing). He also became the only quarterback ever to have 300 yards passing, 5 touchdown passes, and over 100 yards rushing in the same game. Newton capped off the 2015 season by capturing MVP honors and leading the Panthers to a 15–1 record and a trip to Super Bowl 50.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Technical School near Newton AL
Choosing the best electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers 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 school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Newton AL.
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