How to Become an Electrician in Valdosta Georgia
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Valdosta GA. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have found a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Valdosta GA
There are several approaches to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Valdosta GA. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are brief summaries of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Georgia vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two 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 supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Georgia institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Valdosta GA can perform a vast array of tasks, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around four to five years of experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be obtained in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three levels of competency:
- 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 trade school that you choose not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Valdosta GA
A possibility that you may have considered is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning might be a more accommodating option for students that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting expenses from Valdosta GA are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line also. All of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Valdosta GA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Valdosta GA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Valdosta GA graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Valdosta GA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Valdosta GA electrical company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Valdosta home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Valdosta GA, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Valdosta GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Valdosta GA area.
Valdosta is a city in and the county seat of Lowndes County, located on the southern border of Georgia, United States. As of 2013, Valdosta has a total population of 56,481, and is the 14th largest city in Georgia.
Valdosta is the home of Valdosta State University, a regional university in the University System of Georgia with over 10,900 students. The local public Valdosta High School has the most winning football program of any high school in the United States.
Valdosta was incorporated on December 7, 1860, when it was designated by the state legislature as the new county seat, formerly at nearby Troupville. The railroad was built to Valdosta that year, rather than Troupville, stimulating development in the new county seat. Many citizens of Troupville had already relocated to Valdosta when the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad was built four miles (about 6 km) away. On July 4, 1860, the engine known as Satilla No. 3 pulled the first train into Valdosta on the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Valdosta GA
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Valdosta GA.
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