How to Become an Electrician in Columbus Georgia
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Columbus GA. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Columbus GA
There are several approaches to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Columbus GA. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Georgia vocational and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are provided by Georgia community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Georgia colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Columbus GA can undertake a vast array of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be obtained in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails 3 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician trade school that you pick not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Columbus GA
A possibility that you may have considered is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning can be a more accommodating option for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Driving costs from Columbus GA are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. Each of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Columbus GA area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested 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 determination, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Columbus GA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Columbus GA grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Columbus GA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Columbus GA electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Columbus home. Remember 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 training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Columbus GA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Columbus GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Columbus GA area.
Columbus is a consolidated city-county in the west central U.S. state of Georgia. Located on the Chattahoochee River directly across from Phenix City, Alabama, Columbus is the county seat of Muscogee County, with which it officially merged in 1970. Columbus is the third-largest city in Georgia and the fourth-largest metropolitan area. According to the 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Columbus has a population of 194,058 residents, with 303,811 in the greater Columbus–Phenix City metropolitan area. The metro area joins the nearby Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika to form the Columbus–Auburn–Opelika Combined Statistical Area, which has a 2017 estimated population of 499,128.
Columbus lies 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Atlanta. Fort Benning, the United States Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence and a major employer, is located south of the city in Chattahoochee County. Columbus is home to museums and tourism sites, including the National Infantry Museum, dedicated to the United States Army's Infantry Branch. It has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world constructed on the Chattahoochee River.
This was for centuries and more the traditional territory of the Creek Indians, who became known as one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast after European contact. Those who lived closest to white-occupied areas conducted considerable trading and adopted some European-American ways.
Select the Right Electrical Vocational School near Columbus GA
Selecting the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Columbus GA.
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