How to Become an Electrician in Glenville West Virginia
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Glenville WV. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to examine. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Glenville WV
There are multiple ways to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Glenville WV. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by West Virginia trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 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 supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain West Virginia colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Glenville WV can undertake a multitude of tasks, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be acquired in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 3 levels of proficiency:
- 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 select not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Glenville WV
An option that you may have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning can be a more accommodating option for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting costs from Glenville WV are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available online as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Glenville WV region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 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 final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Glenville WV program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at 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 may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Glenville WV grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training 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 trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Glenville WV area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Glenville WV electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Glenville home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors 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 assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glenville WV, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Glenville WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Glenville WV area.
Glenville, West Virginia
Glenville is a town in and the county seat of Gilmer County, West Virginia, United States, along the Little Kanawha River. The population was 1,537 at the 2010 census. It is the home of Glenville State College.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, pioneers began settling in the area they called ‘‘the Ford’’ because it was a place where travelers could cross the river. Later, the community was named Glenville because of its location in a glen. The first grist mill in present-day Gilmer County was constructed there in 1812. The first courthouse was completed in 1850, the second in 1872, and the current courthouse in 1923. Glenville was incorporated in 1856.
Before the 1930s, the Little Kanawha River’s commercial traffic dominated the town’s economy. Road construction contributed to the demise of riverboating by the late 1930s. The natural gas and oil industry rose to prominence after oil was struck in 1875 at nearby Letter Gap. Glenville is now the headquarters of several oil and gas firms. The 1985 flood devastated the downtown, leading many businesses to move to the higher Hays City neighborhood at the main highway intersection.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Tech School near Glenville WV
Choosing the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed 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 necessity that any electrician training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Glenville WV.
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