How to Become an Electrician in Chester Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Chester IL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, some students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting 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 training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Chester IL
There are three general ways to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Chester IL. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the three most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Illinois vocational and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to finish and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Illinois colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 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 academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Chester IL can undertake a wide range of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams commonly test electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be earned in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases includes 3 levels of proficiency:
- 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 trade school that you pick not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Chester IL
A possibility that you may have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning might be a more practical alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Travelling expenses from Chester IL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be available online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Chester IL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Chester IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Chester IL graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Chester IL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Chester IL electrical contractor if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Chester home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience 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 Chester IL, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Chester IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Chester IL area.
Chester is a city in and the county seat of Randolph County, Illinois, United States, on a bluff above the Mississippi River. The population was 8,586 at the 2010 census. It lies 61 miles (98 km) south of St. Louis, Missouri.
Samuel Smith built the first home in Chester, established a ferry system, and began the construction of a mill in 1829. He is said to be the town's founder. It was his wife Jane Smith, a native of Chester, England, who gave Chester its name as a tribute to her home town. The first business in Chester was a general store that opened in 1830 along with a castor oil press established by R. B. Servant, who furnished farmers with seed and growing methods to later buy the beans they produced for oil extraction. This was a flourishing business until the petroleum industry made it obsolete. The first wedding in the town of Chester was held on February 4, 1834. Content Walker, the bride and Amzi Andrews, the groom held their wedding in a 16 feet square log cabin.
The H.C. Cole Milling Company was founded by Nathan Cole in 1839. It started out as a small sawmill with a corn-grinding attachment which encouraged the townspeople to plant grains, and in a short time the first Cole flour mill was built. The mill still exists in Chester but it is now operated by Ardent Mills. Nathan Cole also brought the first electric generator to Chester and used the surplus of power from the mill to operate street lights. This was a modern convenience that was not even available in Chicago at that point. The generator is now on display at the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Select the Right Electrician Trade School near Chester 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 covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Chester IL.
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