How to Become an Electrician in Athens Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Athens IL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have found some that are within driving range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole things that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Athens IL
There are multiple approaches to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Athens IL. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are short explanations of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Illinois technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are offered by Illinois junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Illinois colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Athens IL can perform a wide range of duties, including 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 required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in many 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 tech school that you select not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Athens IL
An alternative that you might have considered is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more practical choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Travelling costs from Athens IL are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be available online also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Athens IL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain 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. Verify that the Athens IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Athens IL grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Athens IL area electricians or electrical professionals. 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. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Athens IL electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Athens residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers 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 programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Athens IL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Athens IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Athens IL area.
New Athens, Illinois
New Athens (/ˈeɪθənz/) is a village in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States. Based upon common usage, the 'A' is always sounded with a long vowel, rather than a short vowel, by its residents, unlike the most commonly used English pronunciation of the city in Greece.
The population was 2,054 at the 2010 census. New Athens sits on the Kaskaskia River and was originally called Athens. The village was laid out in 1836 and incorporated in 1866. The name change to New Athens came in 1868 after it was discovered there was already an Athens in another part of the state.
The area is known for the water sports recreation, including annual boat races and fishing derby. It is also the home of the Peabody River King Conservation Area. The Village is the home of New Athens Community Unit School District #60 (NACUSD 60) - New Athens Township High School Yellow Jackets. The school website, http://www.na60.org provides additional resources and references.
Pick the Right Electrician Trade School near Athens IL
Selecting the right electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Athens IL.
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