How to Become an Electrician in Raleigh Mississippi
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Raleigh MS. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For instance, many prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have located some that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, 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 graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Raleigh MS
There are several ways to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Raleigh MS. You may select 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 other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Mississippi trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are provided by Mississippi junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some Mississippi institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed before licensing. Because of that, most 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 Raleigh MS can perform a multitude of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for 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 a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be earned in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you select not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Raleigh MS
A possibility that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning might be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Travelling expenses from Raleigh MS are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available online as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Raleigh MS area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Raleigh MS school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, 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 training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Raleigh MS students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Raleigh MS area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Raleigh MS electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Raleigh residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Raleigh MS, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers 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 Raleigh MS?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Raleigh MS area.
Raleigh is a town in, and the county seat of, Smith County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 1,462 at the 2010 census, making it the largest town in Smith County. Named for English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, Raleigh has been home to such Mississippians as Governor Robert Lowry, Governor/U.S. Senator Anselm McLaurin and pioneer William H. Hardy. 
Raleigh was first established as the community of Indian Springs and was renamed when the county seat was moved from Fairfield to Raleigh in 1834. The town of Raleigh and its citizens were very active in the Civil War; it was home to numerous companies of the Army of Mississippi and a training camp. In 1863, Raleigh was part of Grierson's Raid which played a major role in the defeat of the Confederate Army at Vicksburg.
The Smith County Courthouse is the major focal point of the town. Two earlier courthouses were destroyed in fires in the 1800s. The current court house was completed in 1912; but a leak in the roof caused the eventual loss of its signature dome. In 2005, a dedication service was held in honor of a new dome built as a replacement.
Enroll in the Right Electrical Tech School near Raleigh MS
Choosing the ideal electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical tech school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. 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 frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Raleigh MS.
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