How to Become an Electrician in Benton Illinois
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Benton IL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many variables to evaluate. For instance, some potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located some that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only things that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more 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 Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Benton IL
There are several approaches to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Benton IL. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as common as the other three options. In many cases these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Illinois technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to complete and are provided by Illinois community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Illinois colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Benton IL can undertake a multitude of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around four to five years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be acquired in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 3 levels of competency:
- 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 crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides 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 Schools Online in Benton IL
A possibility that you might have contemplated is choosing an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving expenses from Benton IL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Benton IL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Benton IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct 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 alumni, 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Benton IL students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Benton IL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Benton IL electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Benton residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Benton IL, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Benton IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Benton IL area.
Benton, the county seat of Franklin County, took its name from the prominent senator from Missouri, Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858). The village of Benton was organized in 1841 on 20 acres (81,000 m2) of property donated by John Ewing and Walter S. Akin. In 1902 the village became a city, and incorporated under the mayor/commissioner form of government.
Franklin County was platted in 1818, the year Illinois became a state, at twice its current size. It included the territory that is now Williamson County. In 1839 the county was split roughly in half and the county seat was permanently fixed "at a hill at the south end of Rowling's Prairie", the site of the future city of Benton.
The Franklin County Courthouse sits in the center of the Public Square. It is the third courthouse that has served the people of Franklin County. The Italianate building was constructed in 1874-75 at a cost of $27,500.00
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Benton IL
Choosing the right electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. 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 choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Benton IL.
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