How to Become an Electrician in Lewiston Idaho
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Lewiston ID. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For instance, some students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Lewiston ID
There are several options to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Lewiston ID. 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 common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Idaho technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to finish and are provided by Idaho community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Idaho institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Lewiston ID can perform a wide range of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to 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 usually around four to five years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be acquired in many specialties, 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 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 educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Lewiston ID
An option that you might have considered is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a way 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 remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more convenient option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Commuting costs from Lewiston ID are also lessened and some of the study materials may be available online as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Lewiston ID area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And although 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 qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Lewiston ID school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Lewiston ID grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught along 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 trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Lewiston ID area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lewiston ID electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lewiston residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some 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 opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lewiston ID, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Lewiston ID?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lewiston ID area.
Lewiston is a city in north central Idaho and the county seat of Nez Perce County. It is the second-largest city in the northern Idaho region, behind Coeur d'Alene, and ninth-largest in the state. Lewiston is the principal city of the Lewiston, ID-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Nez Perce County and Asotin County, Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population of Lewiston was 31,894, up from 30,904 in 2000.
Lewiston is located at the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River, thirty miles (48 km) southeast of the Lower Granite Dam. Because of dams (and their locks) on the Snake and Columbia River, Lewiston is reachable by some ocean-going vessels. The Port of Lewiston (Idaho's only seaport) has the distinction of being the farthest inland port east of the West Coast of the United States. The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport serves the city by air.
Lewiston was founded 157 years ago in 1861 in the wake of a gold rush which began the previous year near Pierce, northeast of Lewiston. In 1863, Lewiston became the first capital of the newly created Idaho Territory. Its stint as seat of the new territory's government was short-lived, as a resolution to have the capital moved south to Boise was passed by the Idaho Territorial Legislature on December 7, 1864.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Lewiston ID
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Lewiston ID.
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