How to Become an Electrician in Ridgeland Mississippi
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Ridgeland MS. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have identified some that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Ridgeland MS
There are three general ways to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Ridgeland MS. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short descriptions of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Mississippi vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards those who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to finish and are provided by Mississippi junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Mississippi colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed before licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Ridgeland MS can undertake a multitude of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be earned in numerous specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails three 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you choose not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Ridgeland MS
A possibility that you might have considered is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, internet learning can be a more convenient option for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Driving costs from Ridgeland MS are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Points 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 training options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Ridgeland MS region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Ridgeland MS school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Ridgeland MS graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Ridgeland MS area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Ridgeland MS electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Ridgeland residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Ridgeland MS, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain 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 issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Ridgeland MS?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Ridgeland MS area.
Ridgeland is located at 32°25′8″N 90°7′30″W / 32.41889°N 90.12500°W / 32.41889; -90.12500 (32.418847, -90.124933), between Madison to the north and Jackson to the south. This suburban community enjoys its location adjacent to the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.7 square miles (46 km2), of which 15.9 square miles (41 km2) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) (10.16%) is water, mostly due to the location of the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 24,047 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 57.5% White, 32.5% Black, 0.2% Native American, 4.0% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 1.0% from two or more races. 4.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right Electrician Vocational School near Ridgeland MS
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Ridgeland MS.
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