How to Become an Electrician in Bradley Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Bradley IL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many factors to evaluate. For instance, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final judgment when picking an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Bradley IL
There are three general approaches to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Bradley IL. You can choose 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 other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are short descriptions of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered 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 Degrees take two years to finish and are provided by Illinois community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Illinois colleges, but are less favored at four 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 carried out before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Bradley IL can carry out a vast array of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be earned in numerous specialties, such as 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician trade school that you select not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Bradley IL
An alternative that you might have considered is selecting an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning might be a more practical option for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Commuting expenses from Bradley IL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be available online as well. Each of these advantages can make electrician online trade 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 begin to focus your training options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Bradley IL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Bradley IL school is 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 a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in 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 a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Bradley IL grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Bradley IL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Bradley IL electrical contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Bradley home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Bradley IL, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask 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 Bradley IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Bradley IL area.
Bradley (formerly North Kankakee) is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. It is a suburb of the City of Kankakee. The population was 12,784 at the 2000 census, 15,070 in 2009, and 15,871 in 2012.
Bradley is a principal city of the Kankakee–Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kankakee County. The county is also part of the larger Chicago–Naperville–Michigan City, IL-IN-WI Combined Statistical Area.
In 1891, North Kankakee was established when the David Bradley Plow Works established a factory, and in recognition of this, in 1895, the town changed its name to Bradley City (later Bradley). Bradley was mostly a blue collar town with the Kroehler Furniture factory and the Roper Corporation factory (maker of kitchen ranges and ovens; part of their operations were in the building that David Bradley once occupied) being the major employers. In the 1980s, as with the rest of the Midwest, these factories closed, and after their closures, parts of those factories burned to the ground. However, by the end of the decade, things changed. In 1989, a new shopping center called Bradley Square was built with Wal-Mart as the first tenant, and more shops followed. The brightest spot in the village's history came on August 1, 1990, when Northfield Square Mall opened. Bradley was poised to attract business. Since that time, the village has been growing. Now, many businesses inhabit the area.
Select the Ideal Electrician Technical School near Bradley IL
Picking the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Bradley IL.
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