How to Become an Electrician in Eleanor West Virginia
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Eleanor WV. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many factors to examine. For instance, some potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when picking an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Eleanor WV
There are multiple options to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Eleanor WV. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by West Virginia technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to finish and are offered by West Virginia community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain West Virginia institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Eleanor WV can perform a vast array of services, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Eleanor WV
A possibility that you might have looked at is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling expenses from Eleanor WV are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Eleanor WV area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Eleanor WV program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing 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 could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent 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 broader directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Eleanor WV students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Eleanor WV area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Eleanor WV electrical contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Eleanor residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized 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 experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Eleanor WV, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Eleanor WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Eleanor WV area.
Eleanor, West Virginia
Eleanor is a town in Putnam County, West Virginia, United States, along the Kanawha River. Its population was 1,518 at the 2010 census. The town was established as a New Deal project in the 1930s and named for Eleanor Roosevelt. Like other Franklin D. Roosevelt towns around the nation (such as Greenbelt, Greenhills, Greendale, Hanford, or Norris).
Eleanor is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 287,702. New definitions from February 28, 2013 placed the population at 363,000.
Eleanor was established in 1934, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the county and developed it as a test site for families. It was one of three resettlement communities in West Virginia, the others being Arthurdale and Tygart Valley. When the town was developed, the houses were built to look very similar to one another and are now referred to as old Eleanor houses. There are two schools in Eleanor, George Washington Elementary School and George Washington Middle School. Under the city pool there is a bunker that was the fallback plan to the greenbrier bunker.
Choose the Right Electrical Tech School near Eleanor WV
Choosing the best electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Eleanor WV.
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