How to Become an Electrician in Antioch California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Antioch CA. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, many potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located several that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that should be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when choosing an electrician school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Antioch CA
There are multiple options to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Antioch CA. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by California vocational and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are offered by California community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some California institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Antioch CA can perform a vast array of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be acquired in many specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 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 important that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Antioch CA
An option that you might have contemplated is choosing an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more accommodating option for students that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting expenses from Antioch CA are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be available online as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Antioch CA region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Antioch CA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Antioch CA grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many 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 companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Antioch CA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using 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 expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Antioch CA electrical company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Antioch residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Antioch CA, check that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Antioch CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Antioch CA area.
Antioch (formerly, East Antioch, Smith's Landing, and Marshs Landing) is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city's population was 102,372 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 110,542 in 2015.
Antioch is one of the oldest towns in California. In 1848, John Marsh, owner of Rancho Los Meganos, one of the largest ranches in California, built a landing on the San Joaquin River in what is now Antioch. It became known as Marsh's Landing, and was the shipping point for the 17,000-acre rancho. It included a pier extending well out into the river, enabling vessels drawing 15 feet of water to tie up there at any season of the year. The landing also included a slaughterhouse, smokehouse for curing hams, rodeo grounds, and even a 1½-story dwelling, embellished with fretwork, that was brought around the Horn to serve as a home for the mayordomo (manager) and his wife.
In 1850, two brothers, William and Joseph Smith, founded a town slightly west of Marsh's Landing, and named it Smith's Landing. In 1851, the town's new minister persuaded the residents to change the name of the town to Antioch, for the biblical city of Antioch.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Vocational School near Antioch CA
Choosing the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Antioch CA.
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