How to Become an Electrician in Wheeler Texas
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Wheeler TX. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to examine. For example, some students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final judgment when picking an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are available.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Wheeler TX
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Wheeler TX. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. In many cases these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Texas vocational and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to finish and are offered by Texas community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Texas institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Wheeler TX can undertake a multitude of duties, including 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 mandated to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around four to five years of experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be acquired in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails 3 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you select not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Wheeler TX
An alternative that you might have contemplated is selecting an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning can be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Commuting costs from Wheeler TX are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed online as well. Each of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Wheeler TX region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Wheeler TX school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct 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 may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Wheeler TX grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Wheeler TX area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Wheeler TX electrical company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Wheeler home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Wheeler TX, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, 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 Wheeler TX?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Wheeler TX area.
Wheeler County, Texas
Wheeler County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 5,410. Its county seat is Wheeler. The county was formed in 1876 and organized in 1879. It is named for Royall Tyler Wheeler, a chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
Wheeler County was one of thirty prohibition or entirely dry counties in the state of Texas. However, in approximately 2010, the community of Shamrock, located in Wheeler County at the intersection of Interstate 40 (old U.S. Route 66) and U.S. Highway 83, voted to allow liquor sales. Within the city limits of Shamrock is the only place to purchase liquor in Wheeler County.
In 1876, the Texas State Legislature established Wheeler County. In 1879, Mobeetie was named the county seat. Mobeetie was then known as "Sweetwater," but this name should not be confused with the Sweetwater, which is the seat of Nolan County west of Abilene. A stone courthouse was erected from locally quarried materials in 1880 but was replaced by a wooden structure in 1888. The town of Wheeler was designated as the county seat in 1908. The wooden courthouse was moved to the current site but was replaced by the existing structure as a result of a 1925 bond election. The previous building was sold to a sheriff, Riley Price, who dismantled it and used it to build barns on his nearby ranch. The structure was designed by E. H. Eads of Shamrock and built by local contractors Hughes and Campbell. It features Palladian windows and Corinthian columns, characteristic of the Greek revival style of architecture.
Choose the Right Electrical Trade School near Wheeler TX
Picking the right electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Wheeler TX.
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