How to Become an Electrician in Crystal Lake Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Crystal Lake IL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of variables to examine. For instance, some students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have located several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing an electrician school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Crystal Lake IL
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Crystal Lake IL. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the three most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Illinois vocational and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are offered by Illinois junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Illinois institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be performed before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Crystal Lake IL can undertake a wide range of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about four to five years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be earned in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three levels of competency:
- 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 tech school that you select not only furnishes a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Crystal Lake IL
An option that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs have become more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning can be a more practical alternative for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Travelling expenses from Crystal Lake IL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Crystal Lake IL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Crystal Lake IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors 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 produce more contacts for the school to use 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Crystal Lake IL graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Crystal Lake IL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Crystal Lake IL electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Crystal Lake home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Crystal Lake IL, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Crystal Lake IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Crystal Lake IL area.
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Crystal Lake is a city in McHenry County in the U.S. state of Illinois. Named after a lake 1.6 miles (2.6 km) southwest of the city's downtown, Crystal Lake is 45 miles northwest of Chicago. The population was 40,743 in 2010. Crystal Lake is the largest city in McHenry County, part of the Chicago metropolitan area.
The City of Crystal Lake traces its origin to two separate communities which were established in the 1800s. Those communities were generally known as Nunda and Crystal Lake. In 1835, Ziba S. Beardsley had come to the shores of the lake and commented that the "waters were as clear as crystal", thereby giving the lake its name. Ziba Beardsley continued south to Naperville. In February 1836, the first white settlers, Beman and Polly Crandall and six of their ten children, came from New York State traveling to Crystal Lake in a covered wagon. Their original cabin was built in the vicinity of today's intersection of Virginia Street and Van Buren Street. Four of the Crandall children were born there. Najah Beardsley's family was the second to settle in the area; his grandson, William Beardsley, was the first white child born on the Crystal Lake prairie, on May 7, 1837.
The town was first known as Crystal Ville. It was changed to Crystal Lake sometime before 1840. The area known today as downtown Crystal Lake was first called Dearborn and later, Nunda, from an area in New York where many settlers originated. The village of Dearborn was founded in the 1850s after an extension of railroads through the area. The first train station was built in 1856, although it was pre-fabricated and shipped from Chicago on a flatcar. At that time, the main business district for the village of Crystal Lake was located on Virginia Street, about one mile (1.6 km) southwest of the railroad station. The railroad served to connect both the people and industries of Crystal Lake and Dearborn to Chicago and the rest of the country. Dearborn grew quickly due to this new rail connection.
Find the Right Electrician Vocational School near Crystal Lake IL
Choosing the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most critical 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 examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should 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 training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach 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. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Crystal Lake IL.
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