How to Become an Electrician in Dunbar West Virginia
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Dunbar WV. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many factors to examine. For example, some potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Dunbar WV
There are three general ways to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Dunbar WV. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are short descriptions of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by West Virginia technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are provided by West Virginia junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain West Virginia institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be completed before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Dunbar WV can perform a wide range 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 municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases 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 important that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Dunbar WV
A possibility that you might have considered is selecting an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs have become more accepted 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 partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more convenient choice for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling expenses from Dunbar WV are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Dunbar WV region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Dunbar WV school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Dunbar WV graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Dunbar WV area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Dunbar WV electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Dunbar residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Dunbar WV, check that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out 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 Dunbar WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Dunbar WV area.
Dunbar, West Virginia
Dunbar was incorporated on April 19, 1921, by an Act of the West Virginia Legislature. Dunbar is on land that was originally occupied by Native Americans with 11 mounds identified in the residential areas. The land was granted to George Washington for his military service and was named for Mary Dunbar after she inherited the land from Washington, although other sources say it was named for Dunbar Baines, a prominent area banker. Dunbar was a farming community until industries began to evolve in the City with the opening of glass and bottling plants in 1912. The Gravely Plow was invented in Dunbar in 1916. Located at Dunbar is the Dutch Hollow Wine Cellars, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,907 people, 3,795 households, and 2,000 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,823.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,090.3/km2). There were 4,175 housing units at an average density of 1,491.1 per square mile (575.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.7% White, 12.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
There were 3,795 households of which 23.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.8% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.3% were non-families. 40.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.75.
Find the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Dunbar WV
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Dunbar WV.
Other Cool Cities in West Virginia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 10