How to Become an Electrician in Opelousas Louisiana
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Opelousas LA. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many factors to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within driving range, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only factors that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing an electrician training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are available.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Opelousas LA
There are three general approaches to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Opelousas LA. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Louisiana technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to complete and are offered by Louisiana junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Louisiana institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Opelousas LA can perform a vast array of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be acquired in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases involves three levels of proficiency:
- 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 important that the electrician vocational school that you select not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Opelousas LA
A possibility that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning may be a more practical option for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling expenses from Opelousas LA are also reduced and some of the study materials may be available on line also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Opelousas LA area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Opelousas LA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Opelousas LA students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Opelousas LA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. 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. If not, ask a local Opelousas LA electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Opelousas residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Opelousas LA, check that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Opelousas LA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Opelousas LA area.
Opelousas (French:les Opelousas) is a small city in and the parish seat of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, United States.Interstate 49 and U.S. Route 190 were constructed with a junction here. The population was 22,860 at the 2000 census. In 2004 the city annexed territory and population expected to give it more than 25,000 people in total. In the 2010 census, the population was 16,634. Opelousas is the principal city for the Opelousas-Eunice Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 92,178 in 2008. Opelousas is also the third-largest city in the Lafayette-Acadiana Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 537,947.
With an area of 7.5 square miles, Opelousas is the most densely populated incorporated city in Louisiana. Founded by French colonists in 1720, Opelousas is Louisiana's third-oldest city. The city served as a major trading post between New Orleans and Natchitoches in the 18th and 19th centuries. Historically an area of settlement by French Creoles, Creoles of color, and Acadians, Opelousas is the center of zydeco music. It celebrates its heritage at the Creole Heritage Folklife Center, one of the destinations on the new Louisiana African American Heritage Trail. It is also the location of the Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino.
The city calls itself "the spice capital of the world", with production and sale of seasonings such as Tony Chachere's products, Targil Seasonings, Savoie's cajun meats and products, and LouAna Cooking Oil. Opelousas was the site of one of the nation's two Yoohoo factories until it closed in 2009.
Select the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Opelousas LA
Picking the right electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Opelousas LA.
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