How to Become an Electrician in Indian Wells California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Indian Wells CA. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of points to consider. For example, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located several that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications 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 contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Indian Wells CA
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Indian Wells CA. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by California vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to complete and are provided by California junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain California institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Indian Wells 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 concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly about four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be acquired in numerous 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 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 tech school that you select not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Indian Wells CA
A possibility that you may have considered is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case 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 accessed online, distance learning can be a more practical option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Driving expenses from Indian Wells CA are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be available on line also. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Indian Wells CA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs 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, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Indian Wells CA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Indian Wells CA graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Indian Wells CA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Indian Wells CA electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Indian Wells home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training 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 see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Indian Wells CA, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Indian Wells CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Indian Wells CA area.
Indian Wells, California
Indian Wells is a city in Riverside County, California, in the Coachella Valley. Incorporated in 1967, it lies in between Palm Desert and the resort town of La Quinta. As of the 2013 census, the city population was 5,165.
The city hosts the sixth-largest tennis tournament in the world, the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament—presently known as the BNP Paribas Open. The Indian Wells Masters is one of nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 high-level events operated by the Association of Tennis Professionals, and one of the four WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments of the Women's Tennis Association. It is held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which contains the second-largest tennis-specific stadium in the world.
As early as 1853, the area now known as Indian Wells was the site of a thriving Indian village, as reported by W.P. Blade, a Smithsonian Institution geologist. A decade later, when gold was discovered on the Colorado River, William D. Bradshaw built a trail from Los Angeles through the desert to the gold mines. The Alexander and Company Stage Line used the trail to transport prospectors and Indian Wells became an important stop along the trail. Competition from the Southern Pacific Railroad caused the route to be abandoned briefly in 1875 before being reactivated by the Wells Fargo Company the following year.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Indian Wells CA
Picking the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Indian Wells CA.
Other Cool Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 107