How to Become an Electrician in Lakewood California
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Lakewood CA. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of points to examine. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final judgment when choosing an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Lakewood CA
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Lakewood CA. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by California technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to finish and are offered by California community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain California colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be performed 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 educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Lakewood CA can carry out a multitude of services, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves 3 levels of proficiency:
- 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 important that the electrician trade school that you pick not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Lakewood CA
An alternative that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more convenient option for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Travelling costs from Lakewood CA are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational 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
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Lakewood CA area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Lakewood CA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Lakewood CA students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Lakewood CA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes 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 in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lakewood CA electrical contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lakewood residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lakewood CA, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out 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 Lakewood CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lakewood CA area.
Lakewood is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 80,048 at the 2010 census. It is bordered by Long Beach on the west and south, Bellflower on the north, Cerritos on the northeast, Cypress on the east, and Hawaiian Gardens on the southeast. Major thoroughfares include Lakewood (SR 19), Bellflower, and Del Amo Boulevards and Carson and South Streets. The San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) runs through the city's eastern regions.
Sometimes called "an instant city" because of its origins, going from lima bean fields in 1950 to a well-developed city by 1960, Lakewood is a classic example of a post–World War II American suburb.
Lakewood is a planned, post-World War II community. Developers Louis Boyar, Mark Taper and Ben Weingart are credited with "altering forever the map of Southern California." Begun in late 1949, the completion of the developers' plan in 1953 helped in the transformation of mass-produced housing from its early phases in the 1930s and 1940s to the reality of the 1950s.
Pick the Right Electrician Technical School near Lakewood CA
Choosing the best electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Lakewood CA.
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