How to Become an Electrician in Camino California
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Camino CA. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Camino CA
There are several options to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Camino CA. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by California trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to complete and are provided by California junior or 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 stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain California colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Camino CA can perform a multitude of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally around four to five years of experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be earned in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 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 imperative that the electrician vocational school that you select not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Camino CA
An alternative that you might have looked at is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more practical option for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Travelling costs from Camino CA are also reduced and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Camino CA area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Camino CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Camino CA students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Camino CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional 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 working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Camino CA electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Camino home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Camino CA, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Camino CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Camino CA area.
Camino (sp.: path or way; formerly, Seven Mile House) is a census-designated place in El Dorado County, California, and, per the 2010 census, has a population of 1,750. According to the USGS, it lies at an elevation of 3133 feet (955 m).
Nearby cities and towns include Pollock Pines, Placerville, Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Grizzly Flats, Somerset, Coloma, Garden Valley, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs, and Lotus. The elevation of Camino ranges between 3,000 and 3,500 feet, and gets snow several times per year. Camino is a popular area in the fall for apples and is often incorrectly mistaken as Apple Hill, which is the trademarked name of the Apple Hill Growers Association, a 55-member collection of ranches in Camino/Placerville/Pollock Pines. It is also known for its many Christmas tree farm ranches and is home to the annual Apple Hill Run. Camino is located about halfway between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe on U.S. Route 50. The first post office was opened in 1904; the ZIP code is 95709. The community is inside area code 530.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Camino had a population of 1,750. The population density was 777.7 people per square mile (300.3/km²). The racial makeup of Camino was 1,604 (91.7%) White, 7 (0.4%) African American, 14 (0.8%) Native American, 18 (1.0%) Asian, 4 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 55 (3.1%) from other races, and 48 (2.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 197 persons (11.3%).
Pick the Ideal Electrical Trade School near Camino CA
Picking the best electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Camino CA.
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