How to Become an Electrician in Glendale California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Glendale CA. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of variables to examine. For instance, some potential students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when picking an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Glendale CA
There are three general options to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Glendale CA. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are short summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by California technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who wish to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to finish and are offered by California junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some California colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Glendale CA can perform a multitude of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly around four to five years of practical experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be obtained in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails three levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician trade school that you select not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Glendale CA
An alternative that you might have looked at is choosing an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more accommodating option for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving costs from Glendale CA are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available online also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Glendale CA area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Glendale CA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Glendale CA grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational 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 inside their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Glendale CA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Glendale CA electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Glendale residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out 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 evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale CA, verify that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, 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, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Glendale CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Glendale CA area.
Glendale /ˈɡlɛndeɪl/ is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Its estimated 2014 population was 200,167, making it the third largest city in Los Angeles County and the 23rd-largest city in California. It is located about 8 mi (13 km) north of downtown Los Angeles.
Glendale lies in the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley, bisected by the Verdugo Mountains, and is a suburb in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The city is bordered to the northwest by the Sun Valley and Tujunga neighborhoods of Los Angeles; to the northeast by La Cañada Flintridge and the unincorporated area of La Crescenta; to the west by Burbank and Griffith Park; to the east by Eagle Rock and Pasadena; to the south by the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles; and to the southeast by Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Golden State, Ventura, Glendale, and Foothill freeways run through the city.
Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery contains the remains of many noted celebrities and local residents. Grand Central Airport was the departure point for the first commercial west-to-east transcontinental flight flown by Charles Lindbergh.
Select the Right Electrician Technical School near Glendale CA
Selecting the right electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Glendale CA.
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