How to Become an Electrician in Oakman Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Oakman AL. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Oakman AL
There are multiple ways to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Oakman AL. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Alabama trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards those who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Alabama colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Oakman AL can perform a multitude of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be earned in numerous specializations, including 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 organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Oakman AL
An option that you may have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more accommodating alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Commuting expenses from Oakman AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Oakman AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Oakman AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs 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 low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Oakman AL students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Oakman AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form 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 working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Oakman AL electrical contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Oakman home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Oakman AL, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Oakman AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Oakman AL area.
Oakman is a town in Walker County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 789, down from 944 in 2000. Initially named Day (or Day's) Gap, it was renamed Oakman and incorporated in 1895.
As of the census of 2000, there were 944 people, 386 households, and 265 families residing in the town. The population density was 303.1 people per square mile (117.2/km²). There were 449 housing units at an average density of 144.1 per square mile (55.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 79.66% White, 19.60% Black or African American, and 0.74% from two or more races. 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 386 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.02.
Choose the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Oakman AL
Picking the best electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Oakman AL.
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