How to Become an Electrician in Sulphur Oklahoma
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Sulphur OK. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of factors to examine. For example, some students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. After they have found several that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Sulphur OK
There are multiple ways to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Sulphur OK. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are short descriptions of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Oklahoma trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to complete and are offered by Oklahoma junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Oklahoma institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Sulphur OK can perform a wide range of services, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be acquired in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails three levels of competency:
- 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 crucial that the electrician vocational school that you select not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Sulphur OK
An option that you might have considered is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation 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 rest of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more practical choice for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting costs from Sulphur OK are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be available on line also. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Sulphur OK area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Sulphur OK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 reviewing 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 unhappy with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Sulphur OK grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Sulphur OK area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Sulphur OK electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Sulphur residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable 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 witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers 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 schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Sulphur OK, check that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out 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 Sulphur OK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Sulphur OK area.
Sulphur is a city in and county seat of Murray County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 4,929 at the 2010 census, a 3.4 percent gain from 4,794 at the 2000 census. The area around Sulphur has been noted for its mineral springs, since well before the city was founded late in the 19th Century. The city received its name from the presence of sulfur in the water.[a]
This area was part of the Chickasaw Nation in Indian Territory during the late 19th Century. The first known settler was Noah Lael, son-in-law of former Chickasaw Governor Cyrus Harris, who built a ranch south of Pavilion Springs in 1878. In 1882, Harris sold the ranch to Perry Froman, a part Chickasaw rancher. The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture says the ranch house was the first residence in Sulphur.
About 1890, a group of fisherman built a clubhouse at the Sulphur site. Conventions and other gatherings began meeting in the vicinity during the early 1890s. The clubhouse owners enlarged the building and sold it for use as a hotel. Richard A. Sneed, a lawyer who visited the area about 1890 and soon after organized the Sulphur Springs Company. The company bought 600 acres (2.4 km2) of land from Froman Ranch and platted a townsite. A post office named Sulphur was established October 2, 1895. The Sulphur Headlight, the first newspaper in town, began publication in 1899, and the first telephone exchange in town went into service in 1900.
Pick the Ideal Electrician Technical School near Sulphur OK
Picking the right electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Sulphur OK.
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