How to Become an Electrician in Whitehall Montana
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Whitehall MT. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of factors to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Whitehall MT
There are multiple approaches to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Whitehall MT. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Montana technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are provided by Montana community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Montana institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Whitehall MT can carry out a multitude of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in many specializations, including 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you select not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Whitehall MT
An option that you may have looked at is selecting an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more practical alternative for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Whitehall MT are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Whitehall MT region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have earned 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 pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Whitehall MT school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Whitehall MT graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Whitehall MT area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Whitehall MT electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Whitehall residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Whitehall MT, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Whitehall MT?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Whitehall MT area.
The town is nestled in the Jefferson Valley, which is shadowed by the Tobacco Root and Highland Mountain ranges and sits in the heart of the Deerlodge National Forest. It is also within 23–60 miles of three major airports, four colleges, five ski resorts, seven major rivers, mountain lakes for fishing and backpacking, four lakes for boating, and three hot springs. There are numerous snowmobiling trails for winter riding and summer trail rides. The mountain ranges surrounding the valley, provide excellent opportunitiy for hunting big game.
Whitehall began as a rail depot created by the Northern Pacific and Montana Railroad on September 25, 1889. The name for the depot came from E.G. Brooke, who was inspired by a similar town he stayed in Illinois while making his way westward. On September 3, 1890, the Jefferson County Commissioners accepted and filed the Townsite of Whitehall.
Public education in the town of Whitehall is provided by Whitehall School District. The district includes Whitehall Elementary School (grades K-6), Whitehall Middle School (grades 7-8), and Whitehall High School (grades 9-12).
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Whitehall MT
Choosing the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. 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 must that any electrician tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Whitehall MT.
Other Cool Cities in Montana