How to Become an Electrician in Ocilla Georgia
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Ocilla GA. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located several that are within driving range, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician 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 options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Ocilla GA
There are multiple approaches to obtain electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Ocilla 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 common as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Georgia technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are offered by Georgia community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Georgia institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be performed prior to licensing. For that reason, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Ocilla GA can carry out a vast array of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about four to five years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be earned in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases involves 3 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Ocilla GA
An alternative that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs have become more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Travelling expenses from Ocilla GA are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Ocilla GA area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational schools 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 pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Ocilla GA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at 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 indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Ocilla GA graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Ocilla GA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job 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 working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Ocilla GA electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Ocilla residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized 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 experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Ocilla GA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find 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 Ocilla GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Ocilla GA area.
Ocilla was founded in 1880, incorporated as a town in 1897, and finally re-incorporated as a city in 1902. It is not clear whether Ocilla is named for the Seminole Chief Osceola, for an Oswichee Native American tribe, or, as proposed by historian John Goff, it could be an adaptation of the place name Auscilla. A 1981 Fitzgerald Herald-Leader says that "a tribe of Oswichee Indians once lived near the Ocmulgee River on land known in 1818 as Irwin County." There, towns were called Oswitchee and Ocilla, and sometimes Ocichi. The French census shows that a town called Ocichi existed there in 1750. A later census in 1832 gives Oswhichee as the name of another Indian village close to Osochi." It goes on with "The town's name was changed seven times. It was called by the Indians Assile, next Aglie, Axilla, Agulu, Ochile, and lastly Ocilla." This theory is less popular today.
The most popular theory is that Ocilla is named for Chief Osceola, who had a prominent role in the Second Seminole War. Allegedly, he camped in the area known as Western Heights in Ocilla and frequently could be found in the area until his capture and imprisonment at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. Osceola is probably the reason that the sports teams in Irwin County are now known as the Indians.
In the 1980s and 1990s Marie Watson was known in Ocilla as the "Christmas Lady." Watson would intricately decorate the property around her home on Cherry Street with lights and Christmas decorations and each year "Santa Claus" would visit the property, taking wishes for gifts from children. Watson became famous for her Christmas cheer but eventually stopped due to the hassle of decorating and because of her older age. Today, her tradition is somewhat carried on every year as the City of Ocilla now decorates Cumbee Park, the public park directly in front of Watson's former home, and holds a yearly session with Santa Claus.
Pick the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Ocilla GA
Selecting the right electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Ocilla GA.
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