How to Become an Electrician in Agoura Hills California
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Agoura Hills CA. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, many students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final judgment when selecting an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Agoura Hills CA
There are multiple approaches to receive electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Agoura Hills CA. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are brief explanations of the three most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by California vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to complete and are offered by California community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain California institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Agoura Hills CA can carry out a vast array of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually test electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in numerous specialties, 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 agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you select not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Agoura Hills CA
An option that you may have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning might be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Agoura Hills CA are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be available online as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Agoura Hills CA region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Agoura Hills CA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Agoura Hills CA graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Agoura Hills CA area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Agoura Hills CA electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Agoura Hills home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Agoura Hills CA, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Agoura Hills CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Agoura Hills CA area.
Agoura Hills, California
Agoura Hills (/əˈɡɒrə/ ( listen)) is a city in Los Angeles County, California. Its population was estimated to be at 20,843 in 2014, up from 20,537 at the 2000 census. It is in the eastern Conejo Valley between the Simi Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains. The city is on the border between the county of Los Angeles to the east and south, and Ventura County to the north and west. It is about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Downtown Los Angeles and less than 10 miles (16 km) west of the Los Angeles city limits (Woodland Hills). Agoura Hills and unincorporated Agoura sit next to Calabasas, Oak Park, and Westlake Village.
The area was first settled by the Chumash Native Americans around 10,000 years ago. As the Alta California (Upper California) coast was settled by Spanish Franciscan missionaries in the late 18th century, the El Camino Real (the Royal Road or King's Highway), a road from Loreto, Baja California, Mexico to Sonoma, California, and connecting the Spanish missions in California, was established through the heart of what would later be known as Agoura Hills.
In about 1800, Miguel Ortega was granted a Spanish grazing concession called Rancho Las Virgenes or El Rancho de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Las Virgenes. The grant was abandoned after Ortega's death in 1810, and José Maria Dominguez was given Rancho Las Virgenes as a Mexican land grant in 1834. Maria Antonia Machado de Reyes purchased the rancho from Dominguez in 1845. (The "Reyes Adobe" ranch headquarters sits today in central Agoura Hills, where it is part of the Reyes Adobe Museum built around 2004 and owned by the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department.)
Choose the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Agoura Hills CA
Picking the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Agoura Hills CA.
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