How to Become an Electrician in Cambridge Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Cambridge IL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have found several that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that should be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Cambridge IL
There are several ways to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Cambridge IL. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are short explanations of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Illinois trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to complete and are offered by Illinois community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Illinois institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter 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. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Cambridge IL can undertake a vast array of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be earned in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails three levels of competency:
- 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you select not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Cambridge IL
A possibility that you may have looked at is selecting an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more practical option for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting costs from Cambridge IL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available on line also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Cambridge IL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Cambridge IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Cambridge IL graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught along 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 trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Cambridge IL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area 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 working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Cambridge IL electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Cambridge residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction 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 instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience 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 Cambridge IL, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Cambridge IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Cambridge IL area.
Before 1843, the land where Cambridge is currently located was the private property of a man named Rev. Ithamar Pillsbury, who was very well known amongst the Yankee settlers (migrants from New England and upstate New York who were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s) who were moving to Henry County in large numbers at that time. Reverend Pillsbury deeded a large portion of his land to the town council and they immediately agreed it was a good place to lay out a town. Lots were sold to incoming migrants and on June 9 of 1843 (after some quarreling among the town founders about how to finance it) construction began on the town. Roads were laid out, post routes established, public buildings erected and people were invited to move there. The original settlers were entirely of New England origins or were Yankees from upstate New York whose families had moved to that place from New England only one generation earlier, in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. This resulted in Henry County being culturally very contiguous with early New England culture.
According to the 2010 census, Cambridge has a total area of 2.154 square miles (5.58 km2), of which 2.14 square miles (5.54 km2) (or 99.35%) is land and 0.014 square miles (0.04 km2) (or 0.65%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,180 people, 856 households, and 595 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,540.2 people per square mile (592.7/km²). There were 896 housing units at an average density of 633.0 per square mile (243.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.17% White, 0.78% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.46% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Cambridge IL
Selecting the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed 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 tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Cambridge IL.
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