How to Become an Electrician in Mercer Island Washington
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Mercer Island WA. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of points to consider. For instance, many students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have found several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that should 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 judgment when choosing 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 becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Mercer Island WA
There are multiple approaches to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Mercer Island WA. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are short explanations of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Washington technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to complete and are offered by Washington junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Washington colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Mercer Island WA can perform a vast array of tasks, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you choose not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Mercer Island WA
An option that you might have contemplated is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more convenient choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving expenses from Mercer Island WA are also reduced and some of the study materials may be available online also. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Mercer Island WA region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to 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 qualifications that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Mercer Island WA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training course 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 finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Mercer Island WA graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Mercer Island WA area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish 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 up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Mercer Island WA electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Mercer Island residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools 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 Mercer Island WA, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Mercer Island WA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Mercer Island WA area.
Mercer Island, Washington
Mercer Island is a city in King County, Washington, United States located on an island of the same name in the southern portion of Lake Washington. Mercer Island is in the Seattle Metropolitan Area, with Seattle located to its west and Bellevue located to its east.
Mercer Island is connected to the mainland on both sides by bridges carrying Interstate 90. The Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and the parallel Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge are floating bridges that span Lake Washington and carry, respectively, eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 90 and connect Mercer Island to the northern portion of Seattle's South End (more specifically, I-90 has Leschi to the north and Mount Baker to the south). I-90 traverses the northern portion of Mercer Island and is then carried from the island to Bellevue over the East Channel of Lake Washington by the East Channel Bridge. Mercer Island is located closer to Bellevue than it is to Seattle, and is therefore often considered to be part of the King County's Eastside.
The population was 25,261 in a 2017 census estimate. Mercer Island is the most populated island in a lake within the United States.[better source needed] The ZIP code 98040 is unique to Mercer Island. Mercer Island has the fifth highest per-capita income in the state of Washington and is one of the 100 richest ZIP codes in the USA according to the IRS figures for Adjusted Gross Income.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Mercer Island WA
Picking the right electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Mercer Island WA.
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