How to Become an Electrician in Vashon Washington
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Vashon WA. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of points to examine. For example, many prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that must be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Vashon WA
There are three general ways to receive electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Vashon WA. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Washington trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to complete and are provided by Washington community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Washington institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Vashon WA can undertake a multitude of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around four to five years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be acquired in various specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases involves 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician trade school that you choose not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Vashon WA
A possibility that you may have considered is selecting an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning can be a more practical alternative for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Vashon WA are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Vashon WA area, it’s important 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 degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Vashon WA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it 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 complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Vashon WA students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Vashon WA area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Vashon WA electrical contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Vashon home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers 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 reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Vashon WA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Vashon WA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Vashon WA area.
Vashon is a census-designated place (CDP) in King County, Washington, United States. It covers an island alternately called Vashon Island or Vashon-Maury Island, the largest island in Puget Sound south of Admiralty Inlet. The population was 10,624 at the 2010 census and the size is 37 square miles (96 km2). There are no bridges to connect the island with the mainland, and this contributes to the island's relative isolation and rural character.
Vashon Island sits in the midpoint of southern Puget Sound, between Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. The first non-American Indian to chart this island was Captain George Vancouver, during his surveys of the Puget Sound area with the British Royal Navy. Originally, a smaller island sat to Vashon Island’s southeast side. Captain Vancouver named the main island Vashon after a fellow captain in 1792. Fifty years later, the smaller island was given the name Maury Island after a British navy crew-mate. These two landmasses remained separated by water until local landowners decided to build an earth bridge, or isthmus, linking them together in 1916. Therefore, the two-piece isle was renamed Vashon-Maury Island. Between the two sections, it covers nearly 40 square miles.
The island was named on May 28, 1792, by the explorer George Vancouver after his friend James Vashon of the Royal Navy. Starting in 1824, different explorer and settler groups stayed on Vashon Island. The first logging on the island began in 1852. By 1855–1856, the S'Homamish people were interned at Fox Island. European-Americans settled Vashon Island between 1865 and 1890. During that time the main economies on the island were fishing and logging.
Choose the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Vashon WA
Picking the best electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Vashon WA.
Other Cool Cities in Washington
Business Results 1 - 10 of 622