How to Become an Electrician in Andalusia Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Andalusia AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many points to examine. For instance, many prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the only qualifications that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision 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 being an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Andalusia AL
There are three general ways to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Andalusia AL. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Following are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Alabama institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Andalusia AL can carry out a wide range of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about four to five years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be earned in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases involves 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Andalusia AL
An alternative that you might have contemplated is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more accommodating alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Commuting costs from Andalusia AL are also lessened and some of the study materials may be available on line also. All of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Andalusia AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have acquired 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 a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Andalusia AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Andalusia AL grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Andalusia AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local 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 working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Andalusia AL electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Andalusia home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out 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 reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Andalusia AL, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Andalusia AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Andalusia AL area.
Andalusia was first settled in 1841 after flooding of the Conecuh River and the surrounding lowlands forced citizens to move to higher ground. The county seat was moved from Montezuma to Andalusia in 1844. The new town was originally called "New Site" but was known as Andalusia by the time a post office was established in 1846.
Andalusia, likely got its name from Spanish explorers or settlers since the land where the town is located was part of Spanish Florida until Pinckney's Treaty in 1795. Prior to this treaty, the Spanish Empire claimed all land up to 32.22 degrees north, which would include present day Andalusia which is at 31.31 degrees north. Andalusia shares the name of Andalusia, a large southern autonomous community of Spain.
Andalusia is located slightly northwest of the center of Covington County at 31°18′N 86°29′W / 31.300°N 86.483°W / 31.300; -86.483 (31.309, -86.479). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51.3 km2), of which 19.7 square miles (50.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.79%, is water.
Find the Right Electrician Trade School near Andalusia AL
Choosing the right electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Andalusia AL.
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