How to Become an Electrician in Farmington Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Farmington IL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For instance, many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole things that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when picking an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Farmington IL
There are multiple approaches to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Farmington IL. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are brief explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Illinois vocational and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to complete and are offered by Illinois community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Illinois colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Farmington IL can undertake a wide range of tasks, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be acquired in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails three 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only furnishes a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Farmington IL
An option that you may have looked at is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning can be a more convenient option for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Travelling costs from Farmington IL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be available online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Farmington IL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Farmington IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at 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 unhappy with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors 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 more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Farmington IL graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs 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 working partnerships with Farmington IL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Farmington IL electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Farmington residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Farmington IL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Farmington IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Farmington IL area.
Farmington is a city in Fulton County, Illinois, United States. It is north of Canton, west of Peoria, southeast of Galesburg, and northeast of Macomb. The population was 2,448 at the 2010 census, down from 2,601 at the 2000 census. The public school system is Farmington Central Community Unit School District 265, which includes Farmington Central High School. Because it is in Fulton County, it is a part of the Canton Micropolitan Area and the wider Peoria Consolidated Statistical Area.
Before and during the Civil War, the city was involved in the Underground Railroad, and there are several remaining homes that were safehouses. In the early 1900s, many Italian immigrants settled in Farmington.
Farmington is located in the northeast corner of Fulton County at 40°41′56″N 90°0′13″W / 40.69889°N 90.00361°W / 40.69889; -90.00361 (40.698855, -90.003673). Illinois Routes 78 and 116 pass through the center of the city. IL 116 enters from the north as North Main Street, and IL 78 enters from the south as South Main Street. The two highways leave the city to the east on East Fort Street. IL 78 leads north 42 miles (68 km) to Kewanee and south 10 miles (16 km) to Canton, the largest city in Fulton County, while IL 116 leads east 22 miles (35 km) to Peoria and west 22 miles to St. Augustine.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Technical School near Farmington IL
Picking the best electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Farmington IL.
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