How to Become an Electrician in Douglasville Georgia
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Douglasville GA. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many variables to examine. For example, many prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have located some that are within driving range, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only qualifications that must be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Douglasville GA
There are three general ways to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Douglasville GA. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are brief summaries of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Georgia technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are offered by Georgia junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Georgia institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, many students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Douglasville GA can perform a wide range of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about 4 to 5 years of 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 an optional means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in various specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three 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 tech school that you pick not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Douglasville GA
An option that you may have contemplated is selecting an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs have become more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning might be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Travelling expenses from Douglasville GA are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be available online as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Douglasville GA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Douglasville GA program 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 acquire a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train 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 graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Douglasville GA graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Douglasville GA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Douglasville GA electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Douglasville home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some 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 evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Douglasville GA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Douglasville GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Douglasville GA area.
Located along a natural rise in the topography, Douglasville was originally known as "Skint Chestnut." The name was derived from a large tree used by Native Americans as a landmark; it was stripped of its bark so as to be more conspicuous.
Douglasville was founded in 1874 as the railroad was constructed in the area. That same year, Douglasville was designated as the county seat of the recently formed Douglas County. The community was named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas.
On September 21, 2009, Douglas County was devastated by the worst flood in Georgia history. Over 18 inches (457 mm) of rain fell in one night, destroying many roads and homes. The county was later declared a disaster area, and the governor of Georgia declared a state of emergency. The flooding most affected the areas of Douglasville, Villa Rica, Austell, Lithia Springs, and Chapel Hill. The disaster killed more than eight people in the county, most of them in the Douglasville area.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Trade School near Douglasville GA
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical tech school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Douglasville GA.
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