How to Become an Electrician in Fairfield Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Fairfield IL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For instance, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have found some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that need to 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 contribute toward your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Fairfield IL
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Fairfield IL. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are offered by Illinois community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Illinois colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Fairfield IL can carry out a wide range of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be earned in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 3 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) along with 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 ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Fairfield IL
A possibility that you might have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, internet learning may be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Commuting costs from Fairfield IL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Fairfield IL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Fairfield IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training program 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 complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent 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 more extensive list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 assist Fairfield IL students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Fairfield IL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Fairfield IL electrical company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Fairfield home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in 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 get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairfield IL, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Fairfield IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Fairfield IL area.
Fairfield is most famous for being the hometown of the "friendly" people, and the Shelton Brothers Gang; notorious bootleggers who fought it out with the Harrisburg, Illinois based Birger Gang to control criminal activities in Southern Illinois. During the first half of the 20th century gang leaders Carl, Earl and Bernie Shelton made Fairfield a household name. Based on testimony of Charlie Birger himself, the Shelton Brothers were convicted for a 1925 unsolved mail carrier robbery of $15,000 and were sentenced to 25 years. They were released a few years later. Birger dominated bootlegging in Southern Illinois until he himself was hanged in Benton for the murder of West City Mayor Joe Adams in 1928. After serving their time, the Shelton brothers built a new criminal empire. Based out of East St Louis, one of the most prosperous cities of its day, they controlled all vice from Peoria and southward.
They met their demise at the hands of the Chicago mob and an insider Charles "Blackie" Harris. A land dispute led to Blackie joining forces with the Mob to kill off members of the Shelton gang. His most notable victim was Carl Shelton, the leader. He was ambushed several miles southeast of Fairfield, shot from his Jeep. Bernie was killed at his Peoria roadhouse. Earl moved to Jacksonville, Florida and became a successful land speculator.
Senator William Borah, the "Lion of Idaho," was born in Fairfield. Fairfield was the hometown of Kenneth Michael Kays, recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War, and Country music singer-songwriter Lance Miller. Carroll C. Boggs, Illinois Supreme Court justice was born in Fairfield. Drue Pearce, Alaska state legislator, was born in Fairfield.
Choose the Right Electrical Trade School near Fairfield IL
Selecting the ideal electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician tech school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Fairfield IL.
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