How to Become an Electrician in Aliso Viejo California
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Aliso Viejo CA. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to consider. For example, some students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found some that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when choosing an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Aliso Viejo CA
There are multiple approaches to receive electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Aliso Viejo CA. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by California technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to complete and are offered by California community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain California colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Aliso Viejo CA can perform a wide range of tasks, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about four to five years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes three 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 imperative that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Aliso Viejo CA
A possibility that you might have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs have become more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more practical option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Driving expenses from Aliso Viejo CA are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available online as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Aliso Viejo CA area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Aliso Viejo CA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers 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 more extensive list of alumni, which may 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Aliso Viejo CA graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Aliso Viejo CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form 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 state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. 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 Aliso Viejo CA electrical contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Aliso Viejo residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, verify that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Aliso Viejo CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Aliso Viejo CA area.
Aliso Viejo, California
Aliso Viejo is a city in the San Joaquin Hills of southern Orange County, California. It had a population of 47,823 as of the 2010 census, up from 40,166 as of the 2000 census. It became Orange County's 34th city on July 1, 2001, the only city in Orange County to be incorporated since 2000. It is bordered by the cities of Laguna Beach on the west and southwest, Laguna Hills on the east, Laguna Niguel on the southeast, and Laguna Woods on the north.
The planned community of Aliso Viejo's original 6,600 acres were once part of the 26,000-acre Moulton Ranch, owned by the Moulton family, who took title in the 1890s to land originally granted to Juan Avila by the Mexican government in 1842. Over the years, portions of the ranch were sold and became Leisure World, Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel. In 1976, the Mission Viejo Company purchased the remaining 6,600 acres to create a new planned community – Aliso Viejo – with a master plan for 20,000 homes for a planned population of 50,000. The master plan was approved by the Orange County in 1979, and homes were first offered for sale in March 1982. Aliso Viejo's first family moved in that November. As part of the project, 2,600 acres were dedicated to Orange County as part of the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and 800 acres were set aside for local parks, recreation, schools and community facilities. The Aliso Viejo Community Association (AVCA) was set up to manage the local parks and community open space. It was the first community-wide association of its kind in California and has the unique ability to provide a full-range of community services and facilities.
Aliso Viejo was the first planned community in California to plan a balance between the projected resident work force and the number of projected jobs within its borders. Pacific Park, the centrally located 900-acre business park and town center, was expected to ultimately provide more than 22,000 jobs. Every home in Aliso Viejo was located about 1 1/2 miles from Pacific Park, to encourage live-and-work opportunities.
Enroll in the Right Electrical Trade School near Aliso Viejo CA
Selecting the best electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Aliso Viejo CA.
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