How to Become an Electrician in Citrus Heights California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Citrus Heights CA. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, some students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified several that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole things that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Citrus Heights CA
There are three general options to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Citrus Heights CA. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short explanations of the three most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by California vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees 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 well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some California colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Citrus Heights CA can undertake a wide range of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically about four to five years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be earned in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you select 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 pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Citrus Heights CA
An alternative that you might have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Driving expenses from Citrus Heights CA are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. All of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Citrus Heights CA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. 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 needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs 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. Confirm that the Citrus Heights CA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Citrus Heights CA students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Citrus Heights CA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area 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 on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Citrus Heights CA electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Citrus Heights home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction 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 observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications 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 in the evening or on weekends near Citrus Heights CA, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain 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, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Citrus Heights CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Citrus Heights CA area.
Citrus Heights, California
Citrus Heights is located at 38°42′N 121°17′W / 38.700°N 121.283°W / 38.700; -121.283 (38.6947, -121.2905). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.2 square miles (37 km2), all land. The city incorporated January 2, 1997 (January 1 according to the official city website), becoming the fifth city in Sacramento County.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Citrus Heights had a population of 83,301. The population density was 5,854.6 people per square mile (2,260.5/km²). The racial makeup of Citrus Heights was 66,856 (80.3%) White, 2,751 (3.3%) African American, 753 (0.9%) Native American, 2,714 (3.3%) Asian (1.2% Filipino, 0.4% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.3% Japanese, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.4% Other), 363 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 5,348 (6.4%) from other races, and 4,516 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13,734 persons (16.5%).
There were 32,686 households, out of which 10,452 (32.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,241 (43.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,689 (14.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,027 (6.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,653 (8.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 252 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 8,860 households (27.1%) were made up of individuals and 3,280 (10.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53. There were 20,957 families (64.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.08.
Select the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Citrus Heights CA
Selecting the best electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a good deal 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 context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Citrus Heights CA.
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