How to Become an Electrician in Jefferson Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Jefferson AL. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many points to consider. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Jefferson AL
There are multiple options to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Jefferson AL. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Frequently 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 want to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Alabama vocational and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Alabama institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be performed before licensing. Therefore, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Jefferson AL can carry out a multitude of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring 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 municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails three 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you select not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Jefferson AL
A possibility that you may have contemplated is selecting an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning may be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting expenses from Jefferson AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Jefferson AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned 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 chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Jefferson AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training course 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Jefferson AL graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Jefferson AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Jefferson AL electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Jefferson home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Jefferson AL, verify that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Jefferson AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Jefferson AL area.
Al Ricardo Jefferson (born January 4, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). He played high school basketball for Prentiss High School in Mississippi before skipping college to enter the 2004 NBA draft, where he was drafted 15th overall by the Boston Celtics. He has previously played for the Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers.
Born in Monticello, Mississippi, Jefferson attended Prentiss High School in the small nearby town of Prentiss from 2000 to 2004. After starting for his varsity team as a freshman at Prentiss, he became one of the elite players in the country as a junior, drawing the attention of both college coaches around the country, and the scouts of the NBA. In his senior year for the Bulldogs, he averaged an astounding 42.6 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks per game as his Bulldogs team went on to lose in the Mississippi state class 3A semi-finals to Byhalia High School 88-73, in which Jefferson finished with 56 points.
Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Jefferson was listed as the No. 1 center and the No. 4 player in the nation in 2004. He had originally committed to Arkansas, but opted instead to make the jump to the NBA straight out of high school.
Find the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Jefferson AL
Picking the ideal electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Jefferson AL.
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