How to Become an Electrician in Stevensville Montana
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Stevensville MT. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of points to examine. For instance, many students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the only qualifications that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when choosing an electrician training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Stevensville MT
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Stevensville MT. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Montana trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by Montana community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some Montana colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Stevensville MT can undertake a wide range of tasks, such as 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 required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be acquired in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician trade school that you choose not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Stevensville MT
An alternative that you may have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning may be a more convenient alternative for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Travelling expenses from Stevensville MT are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed online as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Stevensville MT region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have acquired 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 a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Stevensville MT school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training course 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 program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct 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 list of alumni, which can result in 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 industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Stevensville MT grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Stevensville MT area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Stevensville MT electrical company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Stevensville residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training 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 big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Stevensville MT, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out 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 Stevensville MT?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Stevensville MT area.
Stevensville is officially recognized as the first permanent settlement in the state of Montana. Forty-eight years before Montana became the nation's 41st state, Stevensville was settled by Jesuit Missionaries at the request of the Bitter Root Salish Amerindians.
Through interactions with Iroquois working in the fur trade between 1812 and 1820, the Bitter Root Salish learned about Christianity and Jesuit missionaries (the Blackrobes as they were called) that worked with Native Americans teaching about agriculture, medicine, and religion. Interest in these "blackrobes" grew among the Salish and, in 1831, four young Salish men were dispatched to St. Louis, Missouri to request a priest to return with them to their homeland of present-day Stevensville. The four Salish men were directed to the home and office of William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) to make their request. At that time Clark was in charge of administering the territory they called home. Through the perils of their trip two of the Salish died at the home of General Clark. The remaining two Salish men secured a visit with St. Louis Bishop Joseph Rosati who assured them that missionaries would be sent to the Bitter Root Valley when funds and missionaries were available in the future.
Again in 1835 and 1837 the Bitter Root Salish dispatched men to St. Louis to request missionaries but to no avail. Finally in 1839 a group of Iroquois and Salish met Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet in Council Bluffs. The meeting resulted in Fr. DeSmet promising to fulfill their request for a missionary the following year.
Pick the Right Electrician Tech School near Stevensville MT
Selecting the right electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Stevensville MT.
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