How to Become an Electrician in Westborough Massachusetts
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Westborough MA. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of points to consider. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole things that should be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting an electrician training school. We will cover 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 offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Westborough MA
There are three general options to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Westborough MA. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the first three options. In many cases these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Massachusetts technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to complete and are provided by Massachusetts community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Massachusetts institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Westborough MA can undertake a vast array of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be obtained in various specialties, including 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 agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you select not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Westborough MA
An option that you may have looked at is selecting an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools have become more prevalent as a way 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 may be attended online, distance learning can be a more practical alternative for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Commuting costs from Westborough MA are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Westborough MA area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Westborough MA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Westborough MA graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical 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 electrician businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Westborough MA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Westborough MA electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Westborough home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Westborough MA, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Westborough MA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Westborough MA area.
Westborough is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 18,272 at the 2010 Census, in nearly 6,900 households. Incorporated in 1717, the town is governed under the New England open town meeting system, headed by a five-member elected Board of Selectmen whose duties include licensing, appointing various administrative positions, and calling a town meeting of citizens annually or whenever the need arises.
Before recorded time, the area now known as Westborough was a well-travelled crossroads. As early as 7,000 BC, prehistoric people in dugout canoes followed the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers to their headwaters in search of quartzite for tools and weapons.
From 1200 to 1600 AD, seasonal migrations brought Nipmuc Indians to hunt and fish near Cedar Swamp and Lake Hoccomocco. Using Fay Mountain as a landmark, Indians crisscrossed Westborough on well-worn paths: the old Connecticut Path leading west from Massachusetts Bay; the Narragansett Trail leading south, and the trail (along the present Milk Street) leading to Canada.
Find the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Westborough MA
Picking the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Westborough MA.
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