How to Become an Electrician in Bakersfield California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Bakersfield CA. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of factors to examine. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located some that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Bakersfield CA
There are several approaches to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Bakersfield CA. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are short descriptions of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by California technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to finish and are offered by California junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain California colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Bakersfield CA can perform a vast array of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically about four to five years of experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be acquired in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves three 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only furnishes a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Bakersfield CA
An option that you may have looked at is choosing an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Travelling costs from Bakersfield CA are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Bakersfield CA area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Bakersfield CA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Bakersfield CA grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Bakersfield CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Bakersfield CA electrical contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Bakersfield home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized 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 experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask 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 Bakersfield CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Bakersfield CA area.
Bakersfield is a city in the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 142 square miles (370 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is approximately 380,000, making it the ninth-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale and Rosedale, has a population of approximately 464,000. Bakersfield is a charter city.
The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil-producing county, and the fourth most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States. Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, aerospace, mining, petroleum refining, manufacturing, distribution, food processing, and corporate regional offices. The city is also the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound.
Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years. The Yokuts lived in lodges along the branches of the Kern River Delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds. In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area. Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, however, the Yokuts remained largely isolated until after the Mexican War of Independence, when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area. Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley. The Bakersfield area, once a tule-reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers who built log cabins there in 1860. The area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, and experienced outbreaks of malaria.
Find the Right Electrician Trade School near Bakersfield CA
Choosing the best electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Bakersfield CA.
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