How to Become an Electrician in Sparrows Point Maryland
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Sparrows Point MD. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many factors to examine. For instance, many students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located several that are within driving range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Sparrows Point MD
There are three general options to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Sparrows Point MD. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Maryland vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who wish to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are provided by Maryland community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Maryland colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Sparrows Point MD can carry out a wide range of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually assess general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be earned in various specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 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 crucial that the electrician trade school that you select not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Sparrows Point MD
An alternative that you might have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning might be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Sparrows Point MD are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be available online also. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Sparrows Point MD region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Sparrows Point MD program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Sparrows Point MD graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Sparrows Point MD area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools 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, talk to the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Sparrows Point MD electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Sparrows Point home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Sparrows Point MD, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows 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 Sparrows Point MD?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Sparrows Point MD area.
Sparrows Point, Maryland
Sparrow's Point is an unincorporated community in Baltimore County, Maryland, adjacent to Dundalk, Maryland. Named for Thomas Sparrow, landowner, it was the site of a very large industrial complex owned by Bethlehem Steel, known for steelmaking and shipbuilding.
Sparrow's Point was originally marshland home to Native American tribes until being granted to one Thomas Sparrow Jr. (1620 - 1674) by Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore in around 1652. His son Solomon Sparrow made a home there, calling it "Sparrow's Nest". Later in the 1700s the area became home to other families, who farmed and raised crops, building homes and hunting lodges. Among the many wealthy residents of Baltimore who owned property there was Major General George H. Steuart who hosted the social reformer Dorothea Dix at Sparrow's Point. By the 1860s much of the land, about 385 acres, was owned by the Fitzell family.
Sparrow's Point remained largely rural until 1887, when an engineer named Frederick Wood realized that the marshy inlet would make an excellent deep-water port for the Pennsylvania Steel Company. The Fitzells were reluctant to part with their peach orchards but were eventually persuaded to sell.
Select the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Sparrows Point MD
Choosing the best electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Sparrows Point MD.
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