How to Become an Electrician in Clearlake Washington
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Clearlake WA. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many variables to examine. For example, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located several that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Clearlake WA
There are several options to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Clearlake WA. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are short descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Washington trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards those who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to finish and are offered by Washington junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Washington institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Clearlake WA can undertake a wide range of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be obtained in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 3 levels of proficiency:
- 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 imperative that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Clearlake WA
An option that you might have considered is choosing an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, internet learning may be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Commuting expenses from Clearlake WA are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. Each of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Clearlake WA area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about 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 critical when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Clearlake WA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require 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 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 indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Clearlake WA students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Clearlake WA area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Clearlake WA electrical company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Clearlake home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Clearlake WA, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out 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 Clearlake WA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Clearlake WA area.
NetMotion Software is a privately held software company specializing in mobile performance management. Founded in 2001 and based in Seattle, Washington, NetMotion develops software for organizations with mobile workforces designed to allow them to manage, optimize, accelerate and secure traffic to mobile devices. The company's software is used in utilities, healthcare, telecommunication, public safety, government, insurance and manufacturing.
The company was formed in 2001 as a spin-off from WRQ, Inc. In 2006, NetMotion merged with Padcom, Inc. In September 2010 and again in 2011. In September 2012, NetMotion was acquired by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. Under Clearlake's ownership, NetMotion expanded into the European and Asia Pacific markets seeking additional growth. In July 2016, Christopher Kenessey was named CEO, then in August of that same year NetMotion was acquired by The Carlyle Group.
The bulk of the company's operations are located at the North American headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Three sales offices in Europe handle international sales including sales into Australia, New Zealand and several African countries.
Pick the Right Electrical Vocational School near Clearlake WA
Picking the best electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Clearlake WA.
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