How to Become an Electrician in Radcliff Kentucky
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Radcliff KY. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of points to examine. For instance, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final decision when picking an electrician training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Radcliff KY
There are several options to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Radcliff KY. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Kentucky technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are provided by Kentucky junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Kentucky colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Radcliff KY can undertake a vast array of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be earned in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases includes 3 levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Radcliff KY
An alternative that you may have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning can be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving expenses from Radcliff KY are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be available online also. All of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Radcliff KY region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Radcliff KY program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified 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 broader list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Radcliff KY students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Radcliff KY area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Radcliff KY electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Radcliff residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise 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 meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Radcliff KY, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Radcliff KY?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Radcliff KY area.
Radcliff is a home rule-class city in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 21,692 at the 2010 census, and in 2016 the estimated population was 22,490. It is included in the Elizabethtown–Fort Knox Metropolitan Area.
Its economy is largely dominated by the adjacent U.S. Army base Fort Knox and by the nearby city of Elizabethtown. Radcliff's population previously fluctuated greatly depending on the deployments of the units at the base, but the BRAC reorganization of 2005, and the quartering of the U.S. Army's Human Resources Command to Fort Knox has created a larger and more stable population.
Radcliff is in northern Hardin County at 37°49′48″N 85°56′44″W / 37.83000°N 85.94556°W / 37.83000; -85.94556 (37.829918, -85.945541). It is bordered to the north by Fort Knox and to the west by Vine Grove. U.S. Route 31W runs through the east side of the city, leading north 34 miles (55 km) to Louisville and south 11 miles (18 km) to Elizabethtown.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Radcliff KY
Selecting the right electrical training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Radcliff KY.
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