How to Become an Electrician in Inwood West Virginia
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Inwood WV. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, many prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only qualifications that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final decision when choosing an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Inwood WV
There are several ways to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Inwood WV. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by West Virginia trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards those who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to complete and are offered by West Virginia junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some West Virginia institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Inwood WV can carry out a wide range of tasks, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails three 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you select not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Inwood WV
An alternative that you might have considered is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs have become more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more practical alternative for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling expenses from Inwood WV are also reduced and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Inwood WV region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Inwood WV program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Inwood WV graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Inwood WV area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job 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 trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Inwood WV electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Inwood residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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 teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Inwood WV, check that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Inwood WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Inwood WV area.
Inwood, West Virginia
Inwood is a census-designated place (CDP) in Berkeley County, West Virginia, United States, located south of Martinsburg. The population was 2,954 at the 2010 census. It is located on U.S. Route 11.
In the late 1880s, coinciding with the arrival of the Cumberland Valley Railroad (CVRR) extension, a resort that became known as Inwood Park was established on the property of the Strong family of south Berkeley County, West Virginia. On May 5, 1890, the Inwood Post Office opened and the village grew around the Park. From 1892 - 1913, an annual event called the Inwood Fair was held at the Park. This event drew in the range of 7,000 - 12,000 people.
The Cumberland Valley Railroad station in Inwood also included a grain elevator, which ensured that much of the local agricultural products would be brought to Inwood to be shipped elsewhere. Other products shipped from Inwood via the CVRR were wood products, such as bark (for tanning) and railroad ties from the area west of the town. The station at Inwood was one of the most profitable stations on the CVRR line.
Select the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Inwood WV
Selecting the best electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk 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 training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Inwood WV.
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