How to Become an Electrician in Lakeland Georgia
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Lakeland GA. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Lakeland GA
There are several options to get electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Lakeland GA. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Bellow are short explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Georgia vocational and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to complete and are provided by Georgia junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Georgia institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Lakeland GA can perform a wide range of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about 4 to 5 years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be obtained in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Lakeland GA
An alternative that you might have looked at is selecting an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, distance learning might be a more accommodating choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Driving costs from Lakeland GA are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed online also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician tech 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
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Lakeland GA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Lakeland GA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified 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 graduates, which may mean 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Lakeland GA students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Lakeland GA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lakeland GA electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Lakeland home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Lakeland GA, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Lakeland GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lakeland GA area.
Lakeland is a city in Lanier County, Georgia, United States. The city is the county seat of Lanier County. It is part of the Valdosta, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,730 at the 2000 census.
Originally called Alapaha and then Milltown or Mill Town, Lakeland received its current name in 1925 in honor of its proximity to Grand Bay Lake, Lake Erma, and Banks Lake. For many years, Lakeland owned and operated its own railroad.
Numerous festivals are held in the county throughout each year, one of which is the Flatlanders Frolic Arts and Crafts Show. This event features bluegrass music, a road race and various other Labor Day weekend events. Also held in Lanier County is the Living Murals Celebration, held in the spring, and most recently the Georgia Deep Woods Deerfest, a festival featuring wild game suppers and firearms giveaways.
Pick the Right Electrical Vocational School near Lakeland GA
Selecting the right electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Lakeland GA.
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