How to Become an Electrician in Freeburg Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Freeburg IL. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole things that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when choosing an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Freeburg IL
There are several options to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Freeburg IL. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short explanations of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Illinois technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to complete and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Illinois colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Freeburg IL can perform a wide range of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about four to five years of practical experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be acquired in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves three levels of proficiency:
- 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 vocational school that you choose not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Freeburg IL
An alternative that you may have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning can be a more practical option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Freeburg IL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Freeburg IL region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Freeburg IL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify 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 finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory 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 a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Freeburg IL students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught along 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 electrical companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Freeburg IL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical 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 trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Freeburg IL electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Freeburg home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Freeburg IL, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain 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 responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Freeburg IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Freeburg IL area.
Freeburg lies in the fertile and rolling southern Illinois plains between the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. It was platted in 1836 as the town of Urbana by immigrants to this area from Virginia around 1800. The first European settlers of Freeburg were of English and Irish ancestry.
There were five migratory Indian tribes that crisscrossed each other in Illinois; the Peorias, Cahokias, Kaskaskias, Tamaroas, and Michiganics. It is said that Turkey Hill north of town was a popular Indian campground that also attracted many early settlers because of the view it provided of the surrounding countryside. The last Indian tribes left this area by 1820.
The big German migrations to this area started around 1830 and continued quite strong for the rest of the century. Obviously, the abundance of coal, the availability of cheap fertile farm land, as well as the proximity to the frontier city of St. Louis, only 20 miles to the northwest, are what attracted settlers to Freeburg.
Pick the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Freeburg IL
Picking the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Freeburg IL.
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