How to Become an Electrician in Summit New Jersey
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Summit NJ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Summit NJ
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Summit NJ. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are short descriptions of the three most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by New Jersey vocational and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are offered by New Jersey community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some New Jersey colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Summit NJ can perform a vast array of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing 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 practical experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you select not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Summit NJ
An alternative that you might have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs 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 some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more convenient choice for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling costs from Summit NJ are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Summit NJ region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Summit NJ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent 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 list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 help Summit NJ students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical 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 within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Summit NJ area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Summit NJ electrical company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Summit residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Summit NJ, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Summit NJ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Summit NJ area.
Summit, New Jersey
Summit is an affluent city in Union County, New Jersey, United States. At the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 21,457, reflecting an increase of 326 (+1.5%) from the 21,131 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,374 (+7.0%) from the 19,757 counted in the 1990 Census. Summit had the 16th-highest per capita income in the state as of the 2000 Census  According to Bloomberg, Summit ranked as the 72nd richest town in America in 2018.
Originally incorporated as Summit Township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 23, 1869, from portions of New Providence Township (now Berkeley Heights) and Springfield Township, Summit was reincorporated as a city on March 8, 1899.
Possible derivations of Summit's name include its location atop the Second Watchung Mountain; the Summit Lodge, the house to which jurist James Kent moved in 1837 and which stands today at 50 Kent Place Boulevard; and to a local sawmill owner who granted passage to the Morris and Essex Railroad for a route to "the summit of the Short Hills".
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Summit NJ
Choosing the best electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Summit NJ.
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