How to Become an Electrician in Grantsville West Virginia
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Grantsville WV. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to examine. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have found a few that are within driving range, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that must be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Grantsville WV
There are multiple options to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Grantsville WV. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by West Virginia vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards those who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to finish and are provided by West Virginia junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain West Virginia institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be performed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Grantsville WV can perform a wide range of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing 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 most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate 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 available differ by state and can be earned in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech 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 be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Grantsville WV
A possibility that you may have looked at is selecting an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating option for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Commuting expenses from Grantsville WV are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Grantsville WV area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed 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 additional factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Grantsville WV program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative 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 utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Grantsville WV graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Grantsville WV area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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, consult with the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Grantsville WV electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Grantsville residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Grantsville WV, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Grantsville WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Grantsville WV area.
Grantsville, West Virginia
Grantsville is a town in Calhoun County, West Virginia, in the United States. The population was 561 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Calhoun County. The town was established along the Little Kanawha River in 1865 and named for Ulysses S. Grant. Grantsville is home to Wayne Underwood Park, which includes a .25-mile-long (0.40 km) walking trail, and to the annual West Virginia Wood Festival.
As of the census of 2010, there were 561 people, 262 households, and 140 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,275.0 inhabitants per square mile (492.3/km2). There were 303 housing units at an average density of 688.6 per square mile (265.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.9% White, 0.2% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.4% Asian, and 0.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.2% of the population.
There were 262 households of which 21.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.4% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 46.6% were non-families. 40.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.76.
Choose the Right Electrical Tech School near Grantsville WV
Picking the best electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Grantsville WV.
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