How to Become an Electrician in West Union West Virginia
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near West Union WV. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many factors to consider. For instance, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have found several that are within driving range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near West Union WV
There are multiple ways to get electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near West Union WV. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by West Virginia trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by West Virginia community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain West Virginia colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in West Union WV can carry out a multitude of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around four to five years of practical experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as 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 earned in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in West Union WV
An alternative that you might have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more practical option for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Travelling costs from West Union WV are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed online as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the West Union WV region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the West Union WV program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify 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 course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist West Union WV students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with West Union WV area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain 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 in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local West Union WV electrical contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your West Union home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near West Union WV, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near West Union WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the West Union WV area.
West Union, West Virginia
West Union, incorporated July 20, 1881, is a town in Doddridge County, West Virginia, USA. The population was 825 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Doddridge County. The mayor is Joseph Thorpe as of 2013. The town is located along Middle Island Creek at the junction of U.S. Route 50 and West Virginia Route 18; the North Bend Rail Trail also passes through the town.
The area was first settled in the late 1780s by James Caldwell, who owned 20,000 acres (81 km2) of land that included present West Union. Caldwell sold this land to Nathan Davis, Jr (1772-1866) and his brothers about 1807. They in turn sold 16,000 acres (65 km2) to Lewis Maxwell (1790-1862), a Virginia congressman.
The settlement was originally called Lewisport, but Davis later supposedly suggested the name of "West Union", in deference to a proposed town of Union to be built on the eastern side of Middle Island Creek. (Union has disappeared, if it ever existed.) According to an early resident, A.A. Bee: "The first bridge across Middle Island Creek [at West Union] was of hewed logs with a center abutment of stones. In the great flood of 1835 it was washed away". In 1842, a contract was awarded to the well-known civil engineer Claudius Crozet to build a new covered bridge at West Union, as part of a series of public works along the Northwestern Turnpike. Ephraim Bee (1802–1888), a local blacksmith (who was also a district officer, magistrate, state legislator, hotelier, and postmaster at various times) made all the bolts and bands for the West Union Covered Bridge which was completed in 1843.
Choose the Right Electrical Tech School near West Union WV
Choosing the right electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in West Union WV.
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