How to Become an Electrician in Aurora Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Aurora IL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For instance, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when picking an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Aurora IL
There are several approaches to obtain electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Aurora IL. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to finish and are offered by Illinois community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Illinois institutions, but are less favored 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 4 years be performed before licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Aurora IL can carry out a multitude of duties, such as 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 be licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about four to five years of practical experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be acquired in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases involves three 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 vocational school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Aurora IL
An alternative that you might have contemplated is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more accommodating alternative for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from Aurora IL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. All of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Aurora IL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Aurora IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive 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 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 Aurora IL grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Aurora IL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Aurora IL electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Aurora residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn 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 evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Aurora IL, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Aurora IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Aurora IL area.
Aurora, a suburb of Chicago, is a city predominantly in Kane County and DuPage County, with portions extending into Kendall and Will counties. It is in the outer region of Chicago metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the second most populous city in the state, and the 114th most populous city in the country. The population was 197,899 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to have increased to 199,963 by July 2013.
Once a mid-sized manufacturing city, Aurora has grown tremendously since the 1960s. Founded within Kane County, Aurora's city limits and population have expanded into DuPage, Will, and Kendall counties. Between 2000 and 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Aurora as the 34th fastest growing city in the United States. From 2000 to 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked the city as the 46th fastest growing city with a population of over 100,000.
In 1908, Aurora adopted the nickname "City of Lights", because it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system in 1881. Aurora's historic downtown is located on the Fox River, and centered on Stolp Island. The city is divided into three regions, The West Side, on the west side of the Fox River, The East Side, between the eastern bank of the Fox River and the Kane/DuPage County line, and the Far East Side/Fox Valley, which is from the County Line to the city's eastern border with Naperville.
Select the Ideal Electrical Trade School near Aurora IL
Selecting the ideal electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Aurora IL.
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