How to Become an Electrician in Prestonsburg Kentucky
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Prestonsburg KY. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For instance, some students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Prestonsburg KY
There are three general options to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Prestonsburg KY. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are brief descriptions of the three most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Kentucky technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are offered by Kentucky community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Kentucky institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed before licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Prestonsburg KY can carry out a vast array of tasks, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate 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 her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Prestonsburg KY
A possibility that you may have considered is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more practical choice for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from Prestonsburg KY are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available on line also. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Prestonsburg KY region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Prestonsburg KY school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs 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 indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Prestonsburg KY students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Prestonsburg KY area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Prestonsburg KY electrical contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Prestonsburg home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Prestonsburg KY, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find 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 Prestonsburg KY?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Prestonsburg KY area.
Prestonsburg is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Floyd County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 3,255 at the time of the 2010 census, down from 3,612 at the 2000 census.
The area was part of the 100,000-acre (400 km2) grant to the family of Col. John Preston's wife, which he administered on her behalf. The grant was intended to permit British colonization beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, but subsequent French and Indian resistance and a reversal of British policy limited its impact. The land was not settled until John Spurlock of Montgomery County, Virginia, arrived in 1791. He laid out the town of "Preston's Station" in 1797. It became the seat of Floyd County upon its formation in 1799 and was formally established in 1818. The post office was known as "Floyd Court House" from its establishment in 1816 until the late 1820s, when it was renamed "Prestonsburg".
On January 10, 1862, nearby Middle Creek was the scene of the largest battle of the Civil War to occur in eastern Kentucky. The town was also the site of one of the worst school bus disasters in American history on February 28, 1958.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Trade School near Prestonsburg KY
Choosing the best electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect 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, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Prestonsburg KY.
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