How to Become an Electrician in Algonquin Illinois
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Algonquin IL. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many factors to consider. For instance, many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified some that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that should be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Algonquin IL
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Algonquin IL. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the three most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Illinois technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to finish and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, typically 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 stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Illinois institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Algonquin IL can perform a multitude of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be obtained in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Algonquin IL
An alternative that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to 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 rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning might be a more practical choice for students that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Travelling costs from Algonquin IL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available online also. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Algonquin IL region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Algonquin IL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also 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 produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Algonquin IL students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Algonquin IL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Algonquin IL electrical contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Algonquin residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers 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 meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Algonquin IL, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Algonquin IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Algonquin IL area.
Algonquin is a village in Illinois located in both McHenry and Kane counties. It is a northwest suburb of Chicago, located approximately 40 miles from the Loop. The 2010 Census placed the Village's population at 30,046, growing considerably from the 2000 Census figure of 23,276.
The village is known as "The Gem of the Fox River Valley", since its downtown is nestled in the heart of Illinois' Fox River Valley. Established in 1890 and long known as a small river community, the village is making the transition into a major regional hub, as it has experienced considerable suburban growth over the past 20 years. Now stretching all the way west to the busy Randall Road corridor, Algonquin has become a major commercial center, with popular shopping centers and restaurants, as well as a growing corporate campus. Additionally, the village continues to see considerable residential growth. With this growth, the village has had to deal with challenges including traffic congestion and overburdened schools, yet has managed to increase the commercial tax base, preserve its character and history, and substantially increase its recreational offerings and quality of life.
According to the 2010 census, Algonquin has a total area of 12.41 square miles (32.14 km2), of which 12.23 square miles (31.68 km2) (or 98.55%) is land and 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) (or 1.45%) is water. The majority of Algonquin is approximately 2/3 in McHenry County, with approximately 1/3 in Kane County.
Find the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Algonquin IL
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Algonquin IL.
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