How to Become an Electrician in Brea California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Brea CA. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many variables to consider. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Brea CA
There are several options to obtain electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Brea CA. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the three most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by California technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards those who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to complete and are provided by California junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain California institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, many students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Brea CA can carry out a multitude of functions, including installing, replacing and testing 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 be licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 3 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 imperative that the electrician trade school that you select not only provides a strong 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 Programs Online in Brea CA
A possibility that you may have considered is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning can be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Brea CA are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Brea CA area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two 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 factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Brea 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 ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors 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 broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Brea CA grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Brea CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Brea CA electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Brea home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction 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 big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Brea CA, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Brea CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Brea CA area.
The city began as a center of crude oil production, was later propelled by citrus production, and is now an important retail center because of the large Brea Mall and the recently redeveloped Brea Downtown. Brea is also known for its extensive public art program which began in 1975 and continues today with over 140 artworks in the collection placed and located throughout the city. Brea's public art program has been used as a model and inspiration for many public art programs across the United States.
The area was visited on July 29, 1769 by the Spanish Portolá expedition – the first Europeans to see inland parts of Alta California. The party camped in Brea Canyon, near a large native village and a small pool of clean water. A historical marker dedicated to his visit stands in Brea Canyon just north of town.
The village of Olinda was founded in present-day Carbon Canyon at the beginning of the 19th century and many entrepreneurs came to the area searching for "black gold" (petroleum). In 1894, the owner of the land, Abel Stearns, sold 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) to the west of Olinda to the newly created Union Oil Company of California, and by 1898 many nearby hills began sporting wooden oil-drilling towers on the newly discovered Brea-Olinda Oil Field. In 1908 the village of Randolph, named for railway engineer Epes Randolph, was founded just south of Brea Canyon for the oil workers and their families. Baseball legend Walter Johnson grew up in Olinda at the start of the 20th century where he worked in the surrounding oil fields as a youth.
Pick the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Brea CA
Choosing the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Brea CA.
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