How to Become an Electrician in Downers Grove Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Downers Grove IL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many factors to consider. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have found several that are within driving range, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Downers Grove IL
There are several approaches to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Downers Grove IL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are short explanations of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Illinois trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to complete and are provided by Illinois community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Illinois colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Downers Grove IL can undertake a multitude of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around four to five years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be acquired in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 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 tech school that you choose not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Downers Grove IL
A possibility that you might have looked at is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more practical option for students that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving costs from Downers Grove IL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line also. All of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Downers Grove IL area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Downers Grove IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering 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 may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Downers Grove IL grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Downers Grove IL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job 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 instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Downers Grove IL electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Downers Grove home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise 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 handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Downers Grove IL, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask 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 Downers Grove IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Downers Grove IL area.
Downers Grove, Illinois
Downers Grove was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer, a farmer who traveled to Illinois from Rutland, New York, but was originally from Vermont. Its other early settlers included the Blodgett, Curtiss, Blanchard, Stanley, Lyman, and Carpenter families. The original settlers were mostly migrants from the Northeastern United States and Northern Europe. The first schoolhouse was built in 1844.
The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was extended from Aurora to Chicago through Downers Grove in 1864, boosting its population. The town was incorporated in March 1873. Its somewhat unusual spelling ("Apostrophe-free since 1873") remains a minor historical mystery.
In April 1947 the wreck of a Burlington Railroad Twin Cities Zephyr passenger train killed three people, including the engineer. The streamliner struck a large tractor which had fallen from a freight train and two passenger cars crashed through a wall of the Main Street Station.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Downers Grove IL
Picking the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Downers Grove IL.
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