How to Become an Electrician in Westfield Wisconsin
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Westfield WI. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many points to examine. For instance, many students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found some that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Westfield WI
There are multiple options to receive electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Westfield WI. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Wisconsin trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are offered by Wisconsin community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Wisconsin 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 4 years be performed prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Westfield WI can perform a multitude of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about four to five years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be earned in many specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you select not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Westfield WI
An alternative that you might have looked at is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance 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 may be attended online, distance learning may be a more practical option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting costs from Westfield WI are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Westfield WI area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have earned 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 an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Westfield WI 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 receive an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing 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 suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers 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 broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Westfield WI grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Westfield WI area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Westfield WI electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Westfield home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Westfield WI, check that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Westfield WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Westfield WI area.
Westfield is a village in Marquette County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,254 at the 2010 census. The village is located mostly within the Town of Westfield. A small portion extends east into the adjacent Town of Harris.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.59 square miles (4.12 km2), of which, 1.56 square miles (4.04 km2) of it is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,254 people, 523 households, and 321 families residing in the village. The population density was 803.8 inhabitants per square mile (310.3/km2). There were 578 housing units at an average density of 370.5 per square mile (143.1/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.4% White, 0.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.7% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Westfield WI
Picking the ideal electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Westfield WI.
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