How to Become an Electrician in Roundup Montana
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Roundup MT. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For instance, many students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located several that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Roundup MT
There are three general options to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Roundup MT. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Montana trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are offered by Montana junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Montana colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Roundup MT can perform a vast array of functions, 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 required to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be obtained in many specialties, 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 important that the electrician tech school that you pick not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Roundup MT
A possibility that you might have contemplated is selecting an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning might be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Travelling expenses from Roundup MT are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Roundup MT region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Roundup MT school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Roundup MT grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Roundup MT area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Roundup MT electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Roundup residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Roundup MT, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Roundup MT?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Roundup MT area.
Roundup is located at 46°26′54″N 108°32′34″W / 46.44833°N 108.54278°W / 46.44833; -108.54278 (46.448401, -108.542676). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.34 square miles (3.47 km2), all land.
The Musselshell River runs through the city. Roundup is bordered to the South by the Bull Mountains which rise from the great plains over a hundred miles East of the front range of the Rocky Mountains.
The area has coal mines, which combined with the agriculture, maintained the economy of the town. The Musselshell Valley Historical Museum captures the coal history as well as fossils and Indian artifacts.
Choose the Right Electrical Tech School near Roundup MT
Choosing the best electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Roundup MT.
Other Cool Cities in Montana