How to Become an Electrician in Evergreen Park Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Evergreen Park IL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole things that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Evergreen Park IL
There are multiple ways to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Evergreen Park IL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are brief explanations of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Illinois technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are offered by Illinois junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Illinois colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Evergreen Park IL can undertake a wide range of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to 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 typically about four to five years of experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be earned in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases includes three 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Evergreen Park IL
A possibility that you might have considered is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more accommodating option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Driving costs from Evergreen Park IL are also lessened and some of the study materials may be available on line also. Each of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Evergreen Park IL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Evergreen Park IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Evergreen Park IL grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Evergreen Park IL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Evergreen Park IL electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Evergreen Park home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Evergreen Park IL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask 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 Evergreen Park IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Evergreen Park IL area.
Evergreen Park, Illinois
As early as 1828, a German farming family had settled in the area of what is now Evergreen Park. In the succeeding decades, other German immigrants arrived. Kedzie Avenue and 95th Street crisscrossed the farmland and provided access to markets.
The first railroad (now the Grand Trunk Railroad) came through the area in 1873. In 1875, the community built its first school just west of 95th and Kedzie. The school and the stores that began to cluster around this intersection defined the community's main business area. Nearby, a real-estate developer, with a vision of the Arc de Triomphe area of Paris, laid out a star-shaped park with eight streets radiating from it. The evergreen trees planted in the park inspired the village's name. The location and layout of the park was intended to be the center of town, but 95th St and Kedzie Ave. later proved a more accurate midpoint. After the death of Mayor Henry Klein shortly after the village's 75th anniversary, the park was renamed Klein Park in his honor. 
In 1888 St. Mary's Cemetery opened, and mourners traveled by train from Chicago. Restaurants and taverns were created to provide meals for cemetery visitors. Within five years, the village had become a recreation center that attracted hundreds of Chicagoans to its picnic groves, beer gardens, and dance halls. The first of the village's 13 churches was established in 1893.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Evergreen Park IL
Selecting the best electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way 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. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Evergreen Park IL.
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