How to Become an Electrician in Dunlap Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Dunlap IL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, many students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also critical 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 final decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Dunlap IL
There are several options to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Dunlap IL. You can select 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 options. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are short explanations of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Illinois trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards those who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to complete and are provided by Illinois community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Illinois institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Dunlap IL can perform a multitude of services, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in various specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails 3 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Dunlap IL
An option that you might have looked at is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning might be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Dunlap IL are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Dunlap IL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. 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 taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Dunlap IL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Dunlap IL students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Dunlap IL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Dunlap IL electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Dunlap home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to 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 schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dunlap IL, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Dunlap IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Dunlap IL area.
Dunlap, located on Illinois 91, is a small village in Peoria County Illinois, United States. Its population was 1,386 people as of the 2010 census. Dunlap is part of the Peoria metropolitan area and growth in the city of Peoria is extending towards the village. There are only a handful of businesses in the village's 16 blocks.
The town of Dunlap was officially established on June 12, 1871 on 40 acres of land owned by Alva Dunlap. The town was originally located on the Rock Island Railroad. The site of his former home is now occupied by the Prospect United Methodist Church. The meeting of the first Dunlap Village Council was on January 7, 1952, and the town petitioned for incorporation on February 19, 1952. The current Village Hall was built in 1995.
A post office has been in operation at Dunlap since 1871. Police services are provided by the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office. The Dunlap Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad was established in 1899.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Technical School near Dunlap IL
Choosing the best electrical training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Dunlap IL.
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