How to Become an Electrician in Longview Washington
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Longview WA. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when picking an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Longview WA
There are three general ways to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Longview WA. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the other three options. In many cases these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are short explanations of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Washington trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who would like to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 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 well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Washington institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed before licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Longview WA can perform a wide range of tasks, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around 4 to 5 years of experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be obtained in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails three 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech 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 be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Longview WA
An option that you might have looked at is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Just about 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 accommodating option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling costs from Longview WA are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Longview WA area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Longview WA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it 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 could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Longview WA graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Longview WA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools 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, talk to the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Longview WA electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Longview residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Longview WA, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Longview WA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Longview WA area.
Longview is a city in Cowlitz County, Washington, United States. It is the principal city of the "Longview, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area", which encompasses all of Cowlitz County. Longview's population was 36,648 at the time of the 2010 census and it is the largest city in Cowlitz County. The city is located in southwestern Washington, at the junction of the Cowlitz and Columbia rivers. Longview shares a border with Kelso to the east, which is the county seat.
The Long-Bell Lumber Company, led by Robert A. Long, decided in 1918 to buy a great expanse of timberland in Cowlitz County. A total of 14,000 workers were needed to run the two large mills as well as lumber camps that were planned. The number of workers needed was more than a lumber town, or the nearest town, could provide. Long planned and built a complete city in 1921 that could support a population of up to 50,000 and provide labor for the mills as well as attracting other industries. Several buildings in the city were built from Long's private funds.
The Longview area was first settled by European-Americans, led by pioneers Harry and Rebecca Jane Huntington, in 1849. The area was named Monticello in honor of Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia. In 1852 a group assembled in what would be called the "Monticello Convention" to petition Congress for statehood to be called "Columbia". Congress agreed to statehood but as Washington, after President Washington, to avoid confusion with the District of Columbia. A monument to the convention is located near the Longview Civic Center.
Select the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Longview WA
Choosing the right electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician tech school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure 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 result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Longview WA.
Other Cool Cities in Washington
Business Results 1 - 10 of 28