How to Become an Electrician in Wyncote Pennsylvania
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Wyncote PA. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of variables to consider. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located several that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the sole 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 qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Wyncote PA
There are multiple options to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Wyncote PA. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Pennsylvania technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to complete and are provided by Pennsylvania community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Pennsylvania colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be performed before licensing. For that reason, many students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Wyncote PA can perform a wide range of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be acquired in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Wyncote PA
An alternative that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, distance learning may be a more convenient option for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling costs from Wyncote PA are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
When you have decided 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 Wyncote PA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Wyncote PA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Wyncote PA students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Wyncote PA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment 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, talk to the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Wyncote PA electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Wyncote home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wyncote PA, verify that the schools you are looking at provide 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 protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Wyncote PA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Wyncote PA area.
Wyncote is a census-designated place (CDP) bordering North Philadelphia in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. Wyncote is located 5 miles from Center City Philadelphia at the southeasternmost tip of Montgomery County. The Jenkintown-Wyncote SEPTA station is the fifth busiest regional rail station in the SEPTA system.
Wyncote is bordered by the Cheltenham neighborhoods of Glenside, Elkins Park, La Mott, and Cedarbrook; the Philadelphia neighborhoods of West Oak Lane and Cedarbrook, as well as the borough of Jenkintown and Abington Township.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,044 people, 1,057 households, and 713 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,732.5 people per square mile (1,434.2/km2). There were 1,069 housing units at an average density of 1,309.9/sq mi (503.3/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 79.7% White, 13.6% African American, 0.03% Native American, 3.9% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.79% of the population.
Pick the Right Electrical Tech School near Wyncote PA
Choosing the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrician tech school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Wyncote PA.
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