How to Become an Electrician in Woodinville Washington
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Woodinville WA. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have found some that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only things that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Woodinville WA
There are multiple ways to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Woodinville WA. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Washington vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who wish to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are offered by Washington community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Washington institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Woodinville WA can undertake a multitude of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically around four to five years of practical experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in various specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 3 levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you select not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Woodinville WA
An alternative that you might have contemplated is selecting an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning might be a more convenient alternative for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting costs from Woodinville WA are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be accessed online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Woodinville WA area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Woodinville WA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers 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 directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Woodinville WA students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Woodinville WA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment 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 instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Woodinville WA electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Woodinville residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction 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 experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Woodinville WA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Woodinville WA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Woodinville WA area.
Woodinville is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 10,938 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Seattle metropolitan area. There is also a much larger population with Woodinville mailing addresses in adjacent unincorporated areas of King (Cottage Lake) and Snohomish (Maltby) counties. Woodinville has waterfront parks on the Sammamish River, sweeping winery and brewery grounds, and densely wooded residential areas.
In 1871, Susan Woodin and her husband Ira moved from Seattle and traveled up the Sammamish River where they built a cabin. They planned to log timber and farm cattle. A town gradually developed around them. Their cabin served as its first school and post office, with Susan Woodin appointed as postmaster. Woodin and his son-in-law Thomas Sanders set up the first general store.
Like other nearby towns, Woodinville began as a logging community and became a farming center in the early decades of the 20th century. After World War II, it developed as a suburb of Seattle. In 1969, rock bands including Led Zeppelin and The Guess Who performed at the Seattle Pop Festival at Woodinville's Gold Creek Park.
Pick the Right Electrical Tech School near Woodinville WA
Choosing the right electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Woodinville WA.
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