How to Become an Electrician in Lynnwood Washington
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Lynnwood WA. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For instance, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that should be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Lynnwood WA
There are multiple approaches to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Lynnwood WA. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are short descriptions of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Washington vocational and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are provided by Washington junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Washington colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, many students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Lynnwood WA can carry out a vast array of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around four to five years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be obtained in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 3 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 tech school that you enroll in not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Lynnwood WA
A possibility that you may have considered is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Lynnwood WA are also lessened and some of the study materials may be available online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Because there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Lynnwood WA region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we mentioned 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 crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Lynnwood WA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Lynnwood WA graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Lynnwood WA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish 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 using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lynnwood WA electrical contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lynnwood residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lynnwood WA, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Lynnwood WA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lynnwood WA area.
Lynnwood is a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. The city is part of the Seattle metropolitan area and is located 16 miles (26 km) north of Seattle and 13 miles (21 km) south of Everett, near the junction of Interstate 5 and Interstate 405. It is the fourth-largest city in Snohomish County, with a population of 36,485 in the 2010 U.S. census.
Lynnwood is considered suburban in nature and acts as a bedroom community for job centers in Seattle, Everett and Bellevue. It has one of the largest concentrations of retail in the region, anchored by the Alderwood Mall and businesses along major streets. The city also has a community college, a convention center, and a major transit center, located in the developing city center.
The Lynnwood area was logged and settled by homesteaders in the late 19th century and early 20th century, including the development of Alderwood Manor as a planned farming community. Lynnwood, named for the wife of a realtor, emerged in the late 1940s around the intersection of Highway 99 and 196th Street Southwest. The city was incorporated on April 23, 1959, and grew into a suburban hub in the years following the completion of Interstate 5 and Interstate 405. Alderwood Mall opened in 1979 and spurred the transformation of eastern Lynnwood into a retail and office district.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Lynnwood WA
Selecting the best electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Lynnwood WA.
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