How to Become an Electrician in Edwardsville Illinois
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Edwardsville IL. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of variables to examine. For example, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Edwardsville IL
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Edwardsville IL. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to complete and are offered by Illinois junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Illinois institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Edwardsville IL can undertake a wide range of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around four to five years of experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be obtained in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 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) and also 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 ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Edwardsville IL
A possibility that you might have considered is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more convenient choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Driving costs from Edwardsville IL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Edwardsville IL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Edwardsville IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Edwardsville IL students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Edwardsville IL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Edwardsville IL electrical company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Edwardsville residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure 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 Edwardsville IL, check that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Edwardsville IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Edwardsville IL area.
Edwardsville is a city in Madison County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 24,293. It is the county seat of Madison County and is the third oldest city in the State of Illinois. The city was named in honor of Ninian Edwards, then Governor of the Illinois Territory.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Edwardsville Arts Center, the Edwardsville Journal, the Madison County Record, and the Edwardsville Intelligencer are located here. Edwardsville High School and Metro-East Lutheran High School serve students in the area.
Edwardsville is a part of Southern Illinois, the Metro East region, and Greater St. Louis. It is part of the Edwardsville School District, which also includes the villages of Glen Carbon, Hamel, and Moro, as well as the townships areas around them.
Select the Right Electrician Tech School near Edwardsville IL
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Edwardsville IL.
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