How to Become an Electrician in Theodore Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Theodore AL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to consider. For example, some potential students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the only qualifications that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Theodore AL
There are multiple options to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Theodore AL. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Alabama trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are provided by Alabama community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Theodore AL can perform a multitude of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about four to five years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in numerous specialties, 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 agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you choose not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Theodore AL
An alternative that you may have considered is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more practical option for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Commuting costs from Theodore AL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Theodore AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Theodore AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the electrician training course 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Theodore AL grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction 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 contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Theodore AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Theodore AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Theodore home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn 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 evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Theodore AL, check that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Theodore AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Theodore AL area.
Theodore is a census-designated place (CDP) in Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population was 6,130 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Mobile metropolitan statistical area. Prior to 1900 this area was known as Clements, but is now named for William Theodore Hieronymous (a sawmill operator and postmaster).
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,811 people, 2,483 households, and 1,926 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 571.6 people per square mile (220.6/km²). There were 2,697 housing units at an average density of 226.3 per square mile (87.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 71.11% White, 25.58% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.41% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,483 households out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.11.
Select the Right Electrician Vocational School near Theodore AL
Picking the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Theodore AL.
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