How to Become an Electrician in Unity Maine
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Unity ME. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, some students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have found a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that need to be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Unity ME
There are several options to receive electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Unity ME. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are short explanations of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Maine trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to complete and are offered by Maine community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Maine colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most 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 commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Unity ME can perform a wide range of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about four to five years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may 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 organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Unity ME
An alternative that you may have considered is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Pretty much 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 can be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from Unity ME are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available online as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Unity ME region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 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 although all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Unity ME school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 also that it has the network of contacts to help Unity ME grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Unity ME area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Unity ME electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Unity home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Unity ME, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out 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 Unity ME?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Unity ME area.
Unity is a town in Waldo County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,099 at the 2010 census. The town is the service center for the northern portion of Waldo County. Outside of Waldo county, it is best known as the home of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, its Common Ground Country Fair and Unity College. Unity College was founded in 1965 to offset the economic effects of the declining chicken farming industry. As of 2007, the college is the town's largest employer.
When originally settled by Quakers, the town was known as Twenty-Five Mile Pond Plantation. The name came from its being located on a pond twenty-five miles from Fort Halifax in Winslow. The name was changed to Unity upon incorporation as a town in 1804. In 1898, the Village School was opened. It remained in operation until 1953 when it closed and a new elementary school was built.
In 1996, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) purchased 200 acres of land in Unity, where it is now based. The MOFGA-run Common Ground Country Fair moved with the organization and annually brings more than 50,000 visitors to the town.
Enroll in the Right Electrical Trade School near Unity ME
Picking the ideal electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are assessing 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 provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Unity ME.
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