How to Become an Electrician in Upper Marlboro Maryland
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Upper Marlboro MD. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, many students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Upper Marlboro MD
There are three general options to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Upper Marlboro MD. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or earn 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are brief summaries of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Maryland technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to complete and are offered by Maryland junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Maryland colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Upper Marlboro MD can perform a wide range of services, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually around four to five years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be acquired in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations 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 trade school that you pick not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Upper Marlboro MD
An option that you might have considered is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though 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. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Travelling expenses from Upper Marlboro MD are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Upper Marlboro MD area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Upper Marlboro MD school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools 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 lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly 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 result in 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Upper Marlboro MD students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Upper Marlboro MD area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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 under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Upper Marlboro MD electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Upper Marlboro residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Upper Marlboro MD, verify that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Upper Marlboro MD?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Upper Marlboro MD area.
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Upper Marlboro, officially the Town of Upper Marlboro, is the seat of Prince George's County, Maryland in the United States. The population within the town limits was 631 at the 2010 U.S. Census, although Greater Upper Marlboro is many times larger.
Upper Marlboro was established in 1706 as "Marlborough Town", after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, an ancestor of Winston Churchill. In 1744, the town was renamed to "Upper Marlborough". In the late 19th century, the town's name changed from Upper Marlborough to Upper Marlboro. The name change is linked to a postal clerk who felt that the last three letters, "ugh", did not properly fit on the rubber stamps being used at the time. By 1893, postal guides were referring to the town as Upper Marlboro and the name stuck, despite a proposed ballot to have it changed back in 1968.
The area of Upper Marlboro was first settled around 1695. It was named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, an ancestor of Winston Churchill. The land, which was to become the town, was part of several estates known as Grove Landing, Meadows, and Darnall's Chance, owned by the Brooke, Beall, and Darnall families, respectively.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Upper Marlboro MD
Choosing the best electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Upper Marlboro MD.
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