How to Become an Electrician in Russellville Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Russellville AL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many variables to consider. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Russellville AL
There are several options to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Russellville AL. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are brief explanations of the three most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who would like to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to finish and are offered by Alabama community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some Alabama institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be performed prior to licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Russellville AL can perform a vast array of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly test electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be obtained in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician trade school that you choose not only furnishes a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Russellville AL
A possibility that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning might be a more convenient alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting costs from Russellville AL are also minimized and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Russellville AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Russellville AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Russellville AL grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many 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 electrical contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Russellville AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Russellville AL electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Russellville residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Russellville AL, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Russellville AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Russellville AL area.
Russellville is a city in Franklin County in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,830, up from 8,971 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Franklin County.
After the War of 1812, the U.S. government appropriated money to improve a route from Nashville to New Orleans. It was named Jackson's Military Road after Andrew Jackson, and it passed through what became Russellville. (Present-day Jackson Avenue and Jackson Highway, U.S. Route 43, follow portions of the original road.)
Russellville is named after Major William Russell, an early settler in the area who helped in the construction of Jackson's Military Road. The town grew at this road's intersection with the Gaines Trace.
Find the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Russellville AL
Picking the right electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Russellville AL.
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