How to Become an Electrician in Winchester Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Winchester IL. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of points to consider. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final decision when selecting an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Winchester IL
There are several options to obtain electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Winchester IL. You may choose 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 alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are brief descriptions of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Illinois trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Illinois colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Winchester IL can carry out a multitude of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about four to five years of practical experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually test electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be earned in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 3 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 important that the electrician tech school that you choose not only furnishes a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Winchester IL
A possibility that you might have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning might be a more convenient choice for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Travelling costs from Winchester IL are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Winchester IL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial two 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 final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Winchester IL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools 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 signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Winchester IL grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Winchester IL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Winchester IL electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Winchester home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Winchester IL, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Winchester IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Winchester IL area.
Winchester is a city in and the county seat of Scott County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,650 at the 2000 census. Winchester is part of the Jacksonville Micropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,650 people, 727 households, and 460 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,551.3 people per square mile (601.0/km²). There were 778 housing units at an average density of 731.5 per square mile (283.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.88% White and 0.12% Native American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.18% of the population.
There were 727 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.92.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Vocational School near Winchester IL
Choosing the ideal electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every 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 in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities 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 monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Winchester IL.
Other Cool Cities in Illinois