How to Become an Electrician in Antioch Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Antioch IL. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to examine. For example, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole things that should be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final judgment when choosing an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Antioch IL
There are several approaches to get electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Antioch IL. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to finish and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Illinois institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Antioch IL can perform a vast array of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually test electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be earned in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you select not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Antioch IL
An alternative that you might have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case 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 may be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Driving costs from Antioch IL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be available online 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 address in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Antioch IL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial 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 assess prior to choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Antioch IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Antioch IL students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction 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 electrical contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Antioch IL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Antioch IL electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Antioch residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Antioch IL, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Antioch IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Antioch IL area.
The Pottawatomi Indian Tribe, semi-nomadic hunters who lived in wigwams, inhabited Antioch when white men began to arrive. They fought with the British in the War of 1812 and then with the American settlers in the Blackhawk War of 1832. It was in 1832 that the American Indians began to leave the area, although arrowheads and other remnants of their history can still be found today if one knows where to look. The winding Highway 173 was once an Indian trail and Highway 83 was the Muquonago Trail.
The first permanent white settlement in Antioch was the Gage Brothers' cabin on Sequoit Creek, a tributary of the Fox River. In 1839, Hiram Buttrick built a sawmill along the creek, making Antioch a center of commerce. A replica of the mill has been built a few hundred feet downstream from where it once stood.
The influence of the Gage brothers is important when trying to understand the history and names of the Antioch area, as many local businesses, as well as ACHS sports teams, bear the word "Sequoit." There is no Native American tribe named "Sequoit" or any Native American word for that matter stemming from Antioch's Pottawatomi inhabitants. Though the word "sequoit" has Native American origins, the story behind the name is as complicated as it is historically interesting. Fred Willman explains in his in-depth book examining Illinois high school nicknames, "Why Mascots Have Tales", "The word Sequoit is a form of spelling of the Iroquois Indian word Sa-da-quoit, which was the name the Iroquois Indians gave to a stream that flows through Oneida County in New York state. In the Iroquois language, Sa-da-quoit literally means ‘smooth pebbles in the bed of a stream.’ When white settlers moved into Oneida County, they modified the spelling and pronunciation of the stream to Sequoit Creek." This was later transplanted and modified when the Gage brothers moved from New York State to northern Illinois.
Pick the Right Electrician Trade School near Antioch IL
Picking the ideal electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind 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. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Antioch IL.
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