How to Become an Electrician in Ringgold Georgia
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Ringgold GA. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many factors to examine. For instance, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Ringgold GA
There are several ways to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Ringgold GA. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you want to become certified. Bellow are short summaries of the three most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Georgia trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to complete and are provided by Georgia junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Georgia institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Ringgold GA can carry out a multitude of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing 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 around four to five years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be acquired in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you pick not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Ringgold GA
An option that you might have contemplated is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually 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, internet learning can be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Driving costs from Ringgold GA are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Ringgold GA area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, 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 research before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have attained 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 pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Ringgold GA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly 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 produce 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 additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Ringgold GA graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational 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 inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Ringgold GA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Ringgold GA electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Ringgold residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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 instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ringgold GA, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Ringgold GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Ringgold GA area.
Ringgold is a city in Catoosa County, Georgia, United States. Its population was 3,580 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Catoosa County. It is part of the Chattanooga, Tennessee–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Ringgold is where The General locomotive stopped during the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862. Ringgold is also home to the historic Ringgold Depot, which still contains bullet marks from the Civil War.
The Battle of Ringgold Gap took place on November 27, 1863. Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne with 4,100 men used the mountain pass known as the Ringgold Gap to stall the advance of Union Major General Joseph Hooker and his troops. Hooker's troops were over 12,000 strong. It was a Confederate victory because it allowed Confederate artillery and wagon trains to move safely through the Ringgold Gap unharmed while inflicting high Union casualties.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Vocational School near Ringgold GA
Choosing the best electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to 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 proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Ringgold GA.
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