How to Become an Electrician in Bunker Hill Illinois
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Bunker Hill IL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have found several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that must be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Bunker Hill IL
There are three general ways to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Bunker Hill IL. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are brief summaries of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Illinois trade and technical schools and require 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 finish and are offered by Illinois junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Illinois institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, many 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 Bunker Hill IL can undertake a multitude of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly test 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 distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be earned in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 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 furnishes a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Bunker Hill IL
A possibility that you may have looked at is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning can be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Travelling costs from Bunker Hill IL are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Bunker Hill IL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Bunker Hill 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 quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may mean 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 industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Bunker Hill IL grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught along 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 electrician contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Bunker Hill IL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Bunker Hill IL electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Bunker Hill residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bunker Hill IL, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Bunker Hill IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Bunker Hill IL area.
Bunker Hill, Illinois
As Euro-Americans arrived in Macoupin County, the site of the future Bunker Hill was settled in 1830. At that time, the area was known as Wolf Ridge, due to the presence of wolves in the vicinity. The first settler was Elijah Lincoln in 1830, who established a land claim one and a half miles southwest of present Bunker Hill. Shortly after he made his claim, Lincoln and a Mr. Tuttle laid out a town, named Lincoln after the first settler. The earliest post office in the area was established in 1833 a mile south of Lincoln. A school house was built around 1831, and was also used as the meeting hall for the Baptist denomination. The first church in the area was built by the Baptists. The second was the Congregational Church in nearby Woodburn.
In 1834, County Surveyor Luke Knowlton entered 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land that now cover the center of Bunker Hill. On 25 December 1835, Moses True of Salisbury, New Hampshire, John Tilden of Boston, Massachusetts, and Robert Smith of Alton, Illinois visited Lincoln and formed a company to plat a town and improve the surrounding countryside. By 1836, the settlement of Lincoln had been abandoned, prompting Moses and company to establish a new town, which became Bunker Hill in 1837.
At 6:45am CST on 19 March 1948, a tornado that originated in Alton, Illinois blew through Bunker Hill, destroying the majority of the town's buildings and killing nineteen people. Although the tornado was only in town for less than a minute, the destruction was devastating. The downtown business district lost many of its buildings. The streets were impassable due to rubble from the storm. The newly renovated Meissner School was one of few buildings virtually undamaged by the tornado. A first aid station was set up in the school, with a temporary morgue in another classroom. By 9:00 am, ambulances from Alton, Carlinville, Litchfield, and Gillespie arrived to transport the injured to local hospitals. By the end of the day, National Guard units, US Army units, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, American Legion, VFW, and Illinois State Police had arrived to restore order and provide assistance to the citizens of Bunker Hill.
Select the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Bunker Hill IL
Picking the best electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician tech school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs 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 unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Bunker Hill IL.
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