How to Become an Electrician in Port Orchard Washington
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Port Orchard WA. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located some that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when picking an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Port Orchard WA
There are three general ways to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Port Orchard WA. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are short descriptions of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Washington vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to get into 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 offer a more comprehensive 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 require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Port Orchard WA can undertake a multitude of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be acquired in various specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves three 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 certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Port Orchard WA
An option that you may have considered is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs have become more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting costs from Port Orchard WA are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Port Orchard WA area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Port Orchard WA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. 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 training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Port Orchard WA graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Port Orchard WA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Port Orchard WA electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Port Orchard residence. Remember 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 personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Port Orchard WA, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Port Orchard WA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Port Orchard WA area.
Port Orchard, Washington
Port Orchard is a city in and the county seat of Kitsap County, Washington, United States. It is located 13 miles due west of West Seattle and connected to Seattle and Vashon Island via the Washington State Ferries run to Southworth. It is named after Port Orchard, the strait that separates Bainbridge Island from the Kitsap Peninsula.
The first European-Americans to settle in what is now Port Orchard were Wiliam Renton and Daniel Howard, who set up a saw mill there in 1854. The town that was to become Port Orchard was originally platted in 1886 by Frederick Stevens, who named the new location after his father, Sidney. The town of Sidney was incorporated September 15, 1890, and was the first in Kitsap County to be both platted and incorporated. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Navy sought a suitable location for another installation on the west coast, and found it with the assistance of Sidney's residents in Orchard Bay (this installation would later become the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard).
The county seat was originally in Port Madison, but moved after a popular vote to Sidney in 1892. In December of that same year, the residents of Sidney petitioned both the state legislature and the Post Office Department to rename the city to "Port Orchard." The legislature refused, as Charleston (now West Bremerton) had also requested that name. The Post Office Department, however, went through with the name change, and as a result the Port Orchard post office ended up in Sidney, and the Charleston post office ended up in Port Orchard. It wasn't until 1903 that local politician Will Thompson convinced the state legislature to correct this confusing situation, and relocated the Charleston post office to Charleston, at the same time renaming Sidney to "Port Orchard," as it is known today.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Port Orchard WA
Picking the best electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician tech school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Port Orchard WA.
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