How to Become an Electrician in Calhoun Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Calhoun IL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, some students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when picking an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Calhoun IL
There are three general ways to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Calhoun IL. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are brief explanations of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Illinois technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to complete and are offered by Illinois community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some Illinois institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Calhoun IL can undertake a multitude of duties, including 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 mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around four to five years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be acquired in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Calhoun IL
An alternative that you might have looked at is choosing an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving expenses from Calhoun IL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Calhoun IL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed 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 even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Calhoun 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 guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are reviewing 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 may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Calhoun IL grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Calhoun IL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Calhoun IL electrical contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Calhoun residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one 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 big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Calhoun IL, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Calhoun IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Calhoun IL area.
Calhoun County, Illinois
Calhoun County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,089, making it Illinois’ third-least populous county. Its county seat and biggest community is Hardin, with a population of slightly less than 1,000. Its smallest community is Hamburg, with a population of 123. Calhoun County is at the tip of the peninsula formed by the courses of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers above their confluence and is almost completely surrounded by water. Calhoun County is sparsely populated; it has just five municipalities, all of them villages, but is only roughly 45 minutes from downtown St. Louis.
The territory was originally settled by indigenous people who occupied the resource-rich river valleys near waterways. The remains of their occupation have provided some of the most valuable archaeological information in the country. The county's archaeological record chronicles more than 10,000 years of continuous human occupation by Native Americans.
Calhoun County was settled by Americans during the 19th century, and officially organized in 1825. It was named for Vice President John C. Calhoun, in addition to the Calhoun family that was prominent in the area at the time. The southern side of the county, covered in thick forest, was untouched until the population began to expand in the late 1840s with the arrival of German immigrants. Land was cleared for farming, exporting lumber, and constructing spacious log barns, typically 200 square feet (19 m2) in size, which were a "trademark of successful German farmers."
Select the Ideal Electrician Vocational School near Calhoun IL
Selecting the best electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Calhoun IL.
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