How to Become an Electrician in Brenton West Virginia
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Brenton WV. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have found some that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Brenton WV
There are multiple options to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Brenton WV. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain 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 combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the three most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by West Virginia trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are provided by West Virginia junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain West Virginia colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Brenton WV can carry out a vast array of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Brenton WV
A possibility that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning can be a more convenient choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Driving expenses from Brenton WV are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Brenton WV area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Brenton WV school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Brenton WV students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Brenton WV area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Brenton WV electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Brenton home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable 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 see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brenton WV, check that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Brenton WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Brenton WV area.
Appalachia Service Project
Appalachia Service Project or ASP is a non-governmental organization which was founded in 1969. ASP addresses substandard housing using volunteer labor to perform repairs to make homes “warmer, safer, and drier.” ASP operates in Central Appalachia, specifically in the states of Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The mission statement of ASP is “Appalachia Service Project is a Christian ministry, open to all people, that inspires hope and service through volunteer home repair in Central Appalachia,” and ASP’s vision is that “substandard housing in Central Appalachia will be eradicated and that everyone who comes into contact with this ministry will be transformed.” Repairs are made using volunteer labor and at no cost to the homeowner. Between 1969 and 2015, ASP hosted 377,412 volunteers and performed repairs on 17,373 homes.
ASP was founded in 1969 by Rev. Glenn “Tex” Evans, who emphasized the importance of providing service to those in need “right where they are, just the way they are.” While working as a director at Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky, Evans saw first hand the need for assistance in home repairs among his neighbors. Later when he became a staff member of the Board Of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church in Nashville TN, he took several weeks off from his preaching schedule to recruit 50 teens and their adult counselors to repair four homes in Barbourville, Kentucky. This initiative has evolved into the Appalachia Service Project, which currently mobilizes between 15,000 and 17,000 volunteers each year to provide repairs to more than 500 families. ASP continued to grow between 1969 and 1976 by sponsoring regional workshops across the country to educate volunteers about the Appalachian region, bringing ASP’s volunteers together to discuss their experiences and discuss replication of ASP’s home repair model in their home communities. As an outgrowth of this vision, ASP expanded its work outside of the Central Appalachian region during the summer of 1976, sponsoring work crews in Arkansas, California, Alabama, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Kentucky. Although ASP returned to its Central Appalachian roots the following summer, the Sierra Service Project in California became a successful spin-off and still exists today.
Throughout the summer, ASP hosts volunteers aged 14 years and up. More than 14,000 youth, college, and adult volunteer groups come to Central Appalachian Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia to perform home repairs during the months of June and July. Volunteer groups perform a week a service and are housed in one of ASP's 26 "summer centers", often schools or community centers that have been leased by ASP. ASP staff provide direction for home repair projects and supply tools, construction materials, and three meals each day.
Pick the Ideal Electrician Technical School near Brenton WV
Picking the right electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Brenton WV.
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