How to Become an Electrician in Hawthorne California
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Hawthorne CA. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For instance, some students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your final decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Hawthorne CA
There are three general ways to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Hawthorne CA. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are brief explanations of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by California trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to finish and are provided by California community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain California institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Hawthorne CA can carry out a vast array of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be earned in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Hawthorne CA
A possibility that you might have looked at is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Hawthorne CA are also minimized and some of the study materials can be accessed online as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Hawthorne CA region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Hawthorne CA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also mean 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 broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Hawthorne CA students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Hawthorne CA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Hawthorne CA electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Hawthorne home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor 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 feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hawthorne CA, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Hawthorne CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Hawthorne CA area.
The city was founded in 1905 as the "Hawthorne Improvement Company" by B.L. Harding and H.D. Lombard. Harding's daughter shared her birthday—July 4, American Independence Day—with New England author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and a decision was made to name the city after him.
To the north of Hawthorne is the unincorporated community of Lennox and the city of Inglewood. To the east is the unincorporated community of Athens and the city of Gardena. To the south is the unincorporated community of El Camino Village, and the cities of Lawndale and Redondo Beach. Manhattan Beach is at the southwest corner of Hawthorne. To the west is the city of El Segundo and the Los Angeles neighborhood of Westchester is to the northwest of Hawthorne. The unincorporated community of Del Aire is surrounded on three sides by the city of Hawthorne along western edge of Hawthorne.
The Century Freeway (Glenn Anderson Freeway, I-105) runs along the northern boundary of Hawthorne, with the LACMTA Green Line light rail line running down the center of the Century Freeway. The San Diego Freeway (I-405) runs along the western boundary of Hawthorne. Major east–west streets in Hawthorne include Rosecrans Ave., El Segundo Ave., and Imperial Highway. Major north–south street include Aviation Blvd., Inglewood Ave., Hawthorne Blvd., Prairie Ave., Crenshaw Blvd., and Van Ness Ave.
Choose the Right Electrical Technical School near Hawthorne CA
Selecting the right electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Hawthorne CA.
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