How to Become an Electrician in Hawkinsville Georgia
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Hawkinsville GA. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the only qualifications that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Hawkinsville GA
There are multiple ways to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Hawkinsville GA. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Georgia vocational and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by Georgia 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 stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Georgia institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Hawkinsville GA can undertake a vast array of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing 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 the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be earned in numerous specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Hawkinsville GA
An option that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning may be a more convenient alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Travelling costs from Hawkinsville GA are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Hawkinsville GA region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational 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 pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Hawkinsville GA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Hawkinsville GA graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Hawkinsville GA area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Hawkinsville GA electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Hawkinsville home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Hawkinsville GA, check that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Hawkinsville GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Hawkinsville GA area.
Hawkinsville is known as the "Harness Horse Capital" of Georgia. The Lawrence Bennett Harness Horse Racing facility is owned by the city and serves as an important training ground during winter months. The Harness Festival takes place every April at the end of training before horses head north for the harness racing season.
Hawkinsville was founded by European Americans in 1830. That same year, the seat of Pulaski County was transferred to Hawkinsville from Hartford. The community was named for Benjamin Hawkins, delegate to the Continental Congress, and the United States Indian Agent in the Southeast, appointed by President George Washington.
The city includes Hawkinsville High School and several historical sites, including Hawkinsville City Hall-Auditorium, Hawkinsville Public School, the Merritt-Ragan House, the Pulaski County Courthouse, and Taylor Hall. St. Thomas African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized after the American Civil War as one of hundreds of AME churches planted in the South by missionaries from the first black independent denomination in the United States, founded in the early 19th century in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Hawkinsville Commercial and Industrial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hawkinsville is also home to the historic Hawkinsville Opera House.
Select the Right Electrician Trade School near Hawkinsville GA
Selecting the right electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Hawkinsville GA.
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