How to Become an Electrician in Waterville Maine
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Waterville ME. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting 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 being an electrician and the training choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Waterville ME
There are three general options to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Waterville ME. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Maine technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to finish and are provided by Maine community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Maine colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be carried out prior to licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Waterville ME can carry out a multitude of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually around four to five years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you select not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Waterville ME
An alternative that you might have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Commuting costs from Waterville ME are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Waterville ME area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Waterville ME program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may 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 help Waterville ME graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Waterville ME area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently 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 Waterville ME electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Waterville residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger 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 students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Waterville ME, check that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Waterville ME?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Waterville ME area.
Waterville is a city in Kennebec County of the U.S. state of Maine, United States, on the west bank of the Kennebec River. Home to Colby College and Thomas College, the population was 16,406 at the 2016 census. Waterville is also the latter of the cities which make up the Augusta-Waterville, ME Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Waterville has a Mayor and council-manager form of government, led by a mayor and a seven-member city council. The city council is the governing board, and the city manager is the chief administrative officer of the City, responsible for the management of all City affairs. The city is also home to Fox affiliate WPFO and Daystar rebroadcaster WFYW-LP both serving the Portland market and to several radio stations including Colby's WMHB, country WEBB, adult standards WTVL and MPBN on 91.3 FM. The film Wet Hot American Summer is set in Waterville.
The area now known as Waterville was once inhabited by the Canibas tribe of Abenaki (Indigenous People). Called Taconnet after Chief Taconnet, the main village was located on the east bank of the Kennebec River at its confluence with the Sebasticook River at what is now Winslow. Known as Ticonic by English settlers, it was burned in 1692 during King William's War, after which the Canibas tribe abandoned the area. Fort Halifax was built by General John Winslow in 1754, and the last skirmish with Indigenous peoples occurred on May 18, 1757.
Find the Right Electrician Vocational School near Waterville ME
Choosing the right electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are evaluating 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 instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Waterville ME.
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