How to Become an Electrician in Winston Georgia
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Winston GA. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, some students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located several that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole things that must be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when picking an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Winston GA
There are three general approaches to obtain electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Winston GA. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are short summaries of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Georgia technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to complete and are provided by Georgia junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Georgia colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Winston 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 comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be obtained in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Winston GA
A possibility that you may have contemplated is choosing an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs have become more accepted 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 practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Driving costs from Winston GA are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Winston GA area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. 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 chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Winston GA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors 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 may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Winston GA graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Winston GA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Winston GA electrical contractor if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Winston home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Winston GA, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Winston GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Winston GA area.
The 2004 Presidential Election results in Douglas County, Georgia were represented by 61% Republicans (Bush/Cheney), 38% Democrats (Kerry/Edwards), and 1% Other. The 2008 Presidential Election results in Douglas County, Georgia were represented by 50.41% Democrats (Obama/Biden), 48.58% Republicans (McCain/Palin), 0.76% Libertarians (Barr/Root) and 0.26% Other. The 2010 Senatorial General Election Data for Douglas County, Georgia were represented by 54% (20,056 votes) Republicans (Isakson), 43.7% (16,249 votes) Democrats (Thurmond), and 2.3% (858 votes) Other. The 2010 Gubernatorial General Election results in Douglas County, Georgia were represented by 49.13% (18,425 votes)Republicans (Nathan Deal), 46.99% (17,622 votes) Democrats (Roy E. Barnes), 3.86% (1,448 votes) Libertarians (John H. Monds), and 0.01% (4 votes) Other.
Although the Winston-area historical earthquake activity is significantly below Georgia's state average (It is 97% below the overall U.S. average.),  its historical tornado activity is above the state average (It is 135% greater than the overall U.S. average.). 
Enroll in the Right Electrical Technical School near Winston GA
Selecting the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Winston GA.
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