How to Become an Electrician in Lathrop California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Lathrop CA. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, many students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located several that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole things that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Lathrop CA
There are multiple ways to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Lathrop CA. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by California technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to finish and are offered by California junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some California colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Lathrop CA can carry out a vast array of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around four to five years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with 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 offered vary by state and may be acquired in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Lathrop CA
An alternative that you may have considered is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more accommodating choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Commuting expenses from Lathrop CA are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available online as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Lathrop CA region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Lathrop CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Lathrop CA students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Lathrop CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lathrop CA electrical company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lathrop home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lathrop CA, check that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find 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 Lathrop CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lathrop CA area.
Lathrop is a city located in San Joaquin County, California, United States. The 2010 United States Census reported Lathrop’s population was 18,023. The city is located in Northern California at the intersection of Interstate 5 and SR 120.
Lathrop was platted when the railroad was extended to that point. A post office has been in operation at Lathrop since 1871. The city was named for the maiden name of the wife of Leland Stanford. In September 1869, four months after the railheads of the transcontinental railroad met at Promontory, Utah, the completion of the San Joaquin River Bridge at Mossdale crossing at Lathrop actually completed the west coast link.
On August 14, 1889 Chief Justice of California David S. Terry assaulted United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field, at the train station in Lathrop. Field's bodyguard United States Marshal David Neagle (formerly assigned to Tombstone, Arizona) shot and killed Terry. The events led the United States Supreme Court decision In re Neagle.
Choose the Right Electrical Tech School near Lathrop CA
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ 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. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Lathrop CA.
Other Cool Cities in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 328