How to Become an Electrician in Macon Georgia
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Macon GA. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Macon GA
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Macon GA. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. In many cases these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Georgia vocational and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards those who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to finish and are offered by Georgia junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Georgia colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed prior to licensing. For that reason, many students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Macon GA can perform a wide range of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically about four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves three 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Macon GA
An option that you may have looked at is choosing an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Macon GA are also minimized and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Because there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Macon GA region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Macon GA school 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 make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the electrician training course 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 complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 also that it has the network of contacts to assist Macon GA students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught together 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. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Macon GA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools 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, check with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Macon GA electrical company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Macon home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors 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 schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Macon GA, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits 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 Macon GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Macon GA area.
Macon /ˈmeɪkən/ (officially Macon–Bibb County) is a city located in the state of Georgia, United States. Macon lies near the geographic center of the state, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname "The Heart of Georgia."
Located near the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, Macon is the county seat of Bibb County and had a 2014 estimated population of 153,691. Macon is the principal city of the Macon metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 231,259 in 2014. Macon is also the largest city in the Macon–Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area (CSA), a larger trading area with an estimated 417,473 residents in 2014; the CSA abuts the Atlanta metropolitan area just to the north.
In a 2012 referendum, voters approved the consolidation of Macon and Bibb County, and Macon became Georgia's fourth-largest city (just after Augusta). The two governments officially merged on January 1, 2014.
Choose the Right Electrician Vocational School near Macon GA
Selecting the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Macon GA.
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