How to Become an Electrician in Madison West Virginia
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Madison WV. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many factors to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Madison WV
There are three general options to receive electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Madison WV. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. In many cases 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 become certified. Following are short descriptions of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by West Virginia trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to complete and are provided by West Virginia community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain West Virginia colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed before licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Madison WV can carry out a wide range of functions, including 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 required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be obtained in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Madison WV
An option that you might have looked at is selecting an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Commuting costs from Madison WV are also reduced and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Madison WV region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have acquired 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 relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Madison 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. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent 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 directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Madison WV graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Madison WV area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Madison WV electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Madison residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Madison WV, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask 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 Madison WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Madison WV area.
Madison, West Virginia
Madison was first established as Boone Court House. The town was renamed about 1865, presumably for James Madison, the fourth president of the United States. Other theories hold that it was named for lawyer James Madison Laidley or for Madison Peyton, a pioneer coal operator, who was a leader in the movement which resulted in the formation of Boone County and for whom Peytona on Big Coal River was also named. Madison was incorporated in 1906.
The first courthouse at Madison, a log structure, was burned by Union troops early in the American Civil War. The second courthouse, made of local brick, served until 1913, and a frame building was used by county officials for the next several years. The present Boone County Courthouse, occupied in 1921, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Madison is the "Gateway to the Coalfields," as it is located on a principal route through the southern coalfields. It occupied a strategic place during the Mine Wars. Miners twice rallied at the town ballpark in August 1921, to consider whether to continue their march to neighboring Logan and Mingo counties. Thousands of armed marchers passed through the town and surrounding region on their way to and from the fighting at Blair Mountain, which is located up Spruce Fork from Madison.
Choose the Right Electrical Trade School near Madison WV
Selecting the best electrical training program will probably be the most important 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 evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary 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 different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Madison WV.
Other Cool Cities in West Virginia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 10