How to Become an Electrician in New Martinsville West Virginia
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near New Martinsville WV. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of points to consider. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician trade 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 offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near New Martinsville WV
There are three general ways to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near New Martinsville WV. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. In many cases these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally 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 join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to finish and are provided by West Virginia community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain West Virginia institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in New Martinsville WV can undertake a multitude of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually assess general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in numerous specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in New Martinsville WV
An option that you may have contemplated is selecting an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating alternative for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from New Martinsville WV are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the New Martinsville WV region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed 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 while all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the New Martinsville WV school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not qualified 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 list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help New Martinsville WV students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with New Martinsville WV area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local New Martinsville WV electrical contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your New Martinsville residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near New Martinsville WV, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near New Martinsville WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the New Martinsville WV area.
New Martinsville, West Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,366 people, 2,340 households, and 1,477 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,009.7 inhabitants per square mile (775.9/km2). There were 2,632 housing units at an average density of 985.8 per square mile (380.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.2% White, 0.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.
There were 2,340 households of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.9% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.78.
The median age in the city was 46.5 years. 20.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.9% were from 25 to 44; 30.6% were from 45 to 64; and 21.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.
Choose the Ideal Electrician Tech School near New Martinsville WV
Choosing the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in New Martinsville WV.
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