How to Become an Electrician in Columbia Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Columbia AL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of points to consider. For example, many students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have found some that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician school. We will talk about 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 educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Columbia AL
There are three general ways to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Columbia AL. You can select 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 alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards those who wish to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, usually 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 mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Alabama institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed 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 Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Columbia AL can carry out a wide range of tasks, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly around four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Columbia AL
An option that you may have contemplated is choosing an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning can be a more practical option for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Travelling costs from Columbia AL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be available online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Columbia AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Columbia AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are reviewing 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 may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors 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 broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Columbia AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Columbia AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish 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 using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Columbia AL electrical contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Columbia home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training 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 large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Columbia AL, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out 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 Columbia AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Columbia AL area.
At the age of 18 Columbia was hired to assist Bill Sienkiewicz in illustrating Alan Moore's ambitious Big Numbers series. When Sienkiewicz withdrew from the series in 1990 after the release of the first two issues, Moore and his backers at Tundra Publishing asked the young Columbia to become its sole artist. In 1992, with no more issues released, Columbia himself left the project under a cloud of rumors and accusations, including claims that he had destroyed his own artwork for Big Numbers #4. Columbia declined to address the subject publicly for several years, writing in a 1998 letter to The Comics Journal that "I could easily launch into a tirade about the extensive horror of my Tundra experience, but I much prefer the very entertaining and conflicting accounts already in circulation." In later statements he confirmed that he destroyed his artwork but disputed other claims by the principal figures in the fiasco.
In a 2011 article reflecting on his Big Numbers experience, Sienkiewicz wrote that he and Columbia had long since reconciled over the matter, and that he was content to "[c]halk the feud up to the folly of youth."
Columbia's first solo comic book, Doghead, was released by Tundra Publishing in 1992. He contributed to three issues of the horror anthology From Beyonde in the early nineties, initially under the pen name "Lucien" and then under his own name. His stories "The Biologic Show" and "Tar Frogs" also appeared in the British magazine Deadline. In these works, which focused on visceral and disturbing subject matter including mutilation, incest, and the occult, he moved away from the glossy photorealism of his time with Sienkiewicz towards a scabrous but virtuosic pen-and-ink style that emphasized grotesque physiognomic details such as grinning mouths full of teeth and leering, reptilian eyes.
Pick the Ideal Electrician Vocational School near Columbia AL
Picking the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few 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 right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Columbia AL.
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