How to Become an Electrician in Watkinsville Georgia
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Watkinsville GA. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. After they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting an electrician school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Watkinsville GA
There are multiple options to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Watkinsville GA. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Georgia trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by Georgia community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Georgia colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out prior to licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Watkinsville GA can perform a wide range of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally about four to five years of practical experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving 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 earned in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 3 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Watkinsville GA
An option that you may have considered is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs have become more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more practical choice for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from Watkinsville GA are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Watkinsville GA area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Watkinsville GA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the electrician training course 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 program. A low completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Watkinsville GA graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Watkinsville GA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment 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 trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Watkinsville GA electrical company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Watkinsville residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Watkinsville GA, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Watkinsville GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Watkinsville GA area.
Watkinsville is the largest city and seat of Oconee County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 2,832. It served as the seat of Clarke County until 1872 when the county seat of that county was moved to Athens, a move which ultimately led to the creation of Oconee County in 1875. It is included in the Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,097 people, 827 households, and 578 families residing in the town. The population density was 650.6 people per square mile (251.4/km²). There were 862 housing units at an average density of 267.4 per square mile (103.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.08% White, 7.34% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.48% Pacific Islander, 0.86% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.96% of the population.
There were 827 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.99.
Find the Right Electrical Tech School near Watkinsville GA
Choosing the best electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Watkinsville GA.
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