How to Become an Electrician in Stillwater Oklahoma
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Stillwater OK. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, some students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have found some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when picking an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Stillwater OK
There are several approaches to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Stillwater OK. You may choose 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 other three options. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are brief summaries of the three most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Oklahoma technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are offered by Oklahoma community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Oklahoma colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Stillwater OK can perform a wide range of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be acquired in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes three levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies 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 vocational school that you select not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Stillwater OK
An option that you might have contemplated is selecting an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Driving expenses from Stillwater OK are also minimized 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 affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Stillwater OK region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Stillwater OK program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Stillwater OK students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Stillwater OK area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Stillwater OK electrical contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Stillwater residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Stillwater OK, verify that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain 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 Stillwater OK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Stillwater OK area.
Stillwater is a city in northeast Oklahoma at the intersection of US-177 and State Highway 51. It is the county seat of Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. As of 2012, the city population was estimated to be 46,560, making it the tenth largest city in Oklahoma. Stillwater is the principal city of the Stillwater Micropolitan Statistical Area which had a population of 78,399 according to the 2012 census estimate. Stillwater was part of the first Oklahoma Land Run held on April 22, 1889 when the Unassigned Lands were opened for settlement and became the core of the new Oklahoma Territory. The city charter was adopted on August 24, 1889. Stillwater is home to the main campus of Oklahoma State University as well as Northern Oklahoma College - Stillwater, Meridian Technology Center, and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
Stillwater has a diverse economy with a foundation in aerospace, agribusiness, biotechnology, optoelectronics, printing and publishing, and software and standard manufacturing. The city operates under a council-manager government system. The city's largest employer is Oklahoma State University. It was one of the 100 Best Places to Live in 2010, according to CNN Money Magazine.
The north-central region of Oklahoma became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In 1832, author and traveler Washington Irving provided the first recorded description of the area around Stillwater in his book A Tour on the Prairies. He wrote of “a glorious prairie spreading out beneath the golden beams of an autumnal sun. The deep and frequent traces of buffalo, showed it to be a one of their favorite grazing grounds.”
Pick the Right Electrician Trade School near Stillwater OK
Picking the best electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Stillwater OK.
Other Cool Cities in Oklahoma
Business Results 1 - 10 of 8