How to Become an Electrician in Wirtz Virginia
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Wirtz VA. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, many students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final decision when choosing an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Wirtz VA
There are several approaches to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Wirtz VA. You can choose a diploma or certificate 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 combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Virginia vocational and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are offered by Virginia junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Virginia colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, many students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Wirtz VA can undertake a vast array of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around four to five years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be obtained in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you select not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Wirtz VA
A possibility that you might have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning may be a more practical alternative for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Commuting costs from Wirtz VA are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Wirtz VA region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Wirtz VA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative 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 can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Wirtz VA students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Wirtz VA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form 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 in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Wirtz VA electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Wirtz home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wirtz VA, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Wirtz VA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Wirtz VA area.
Susan Loy (born 1951) is an American artist, calligrapher, and author best known for her "Literary Calligraphy" watercolor paintings of the Language of Flowers and the White House Easter Egg Roll. These paintings combine hand-lettered classic quotations from William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Biblical sources, etc. with finely-rendered illustration done with steel pens and brushes.
Loy was a 1969 graduate of Midpark High School in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. She graduated in American Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Loy’s graduate studies included art history, literature, and geography at Ohio State University.
Loy took a calligraphy course in Columbus in 1978 and was captivated; she later explained that the pen was like a magic wand when she picked it up. She felt that her research background in cognitive geography and art history brought her into the art world “through the back door,” rather than gaining entrance through studio classes as is typical for most artists.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Wirtz VA
Selecting the ideal electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Wirtz VA.
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