How to Become an Electrician in Hickam Afb Hawaii
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Hickam Afb HI. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many variables to examine. For instance, some potential students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that must be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Hickam Afb HI
There are multiple options to receive electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Hickam Afb HI. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Hawaii vocational and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to finish and are offered by Hawaii junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Hawaii institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be performed before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Hickam Afb HI can carry out a wide range of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually around 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 understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you select not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Hickam Afb HI
An alternative that you may have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more practical option for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling expenses from Hickam Afb HI are also reduced and some of the study materials may be available online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Hickam Afb HI region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Hickam Afb HI program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Hickam Afb HI grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Hickam Afb HI area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job 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 instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Hickam Afb HI electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Hickam Afb residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hickam Afb HI, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Hickam Afb HI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Hickam Afb HI area.
Hickam Air Force Base
Hickam Air Force Base is a United States Air Force installation, named in honor of aviation pioneer Lieutenant Colonel Horace Meek Hickam. The base merged with the Naval Station Pearl Harbor to become part of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam. The base neighbors Honolulu International Airport and currently shares runways with the airport for its activities and purposes.
Hickam is home to the 15th Wing (15 WG) and 67 partner units including Headquarters of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Hawaii Air National Guard and the 154th Wing (154 WG) of the Hawaii Air National Guard. The Air Mobility Command's 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing (515 AMOW) provides tactical and strategic airlift within the Pacific region.
The 15th Wing is composed of four groups each with specific functions. The 15th Operations Group (15 OG) controls all flying and airfield operations. The 15th Maintenance Group (15 MXG) performs aircraft and aircraft ground equipment maintenance. The 15th Mission Support Group (15 MSG) has a wide range of responsibilities but a few of its functions are Security, Civil Engineering, Communications, Personnel Management, Logistics, Services and Contracting support. The 15th Medical Group (15 MDG) provides medical and dental care.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Hickam Afb HI
Selecting the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Hickam Afb HI.
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