How to Become an Electrician in Point Pleasant West Virginia
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Point Pleasant WV. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many factors to examine. For instance, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when picking an electrician school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Point Pleasant WV
There are several approaches to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Point Pleasant WV. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are short summaries of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by West Virginia vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are provided by West Virginia junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some West Virginia institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Point Pleasant WV can perform a multitude of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about 4 to 5 years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be acquired in numerous specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails three levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Point Pleasant WV
A possibility that you may have considered is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning may be a more practical alternative for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Driving costs from Point Pleasant WV are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Point Pleasant WV area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Point Pleasant WV program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the electrician training program 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 course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Point Pleasant WV grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Point Pleasant WV area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Point Pleasant WV electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Point Pleasant residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Point Pleasant WV, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Point Pleasant WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Point Pleasant WV area.
Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Point Pleasant is a city in and the county seat of Mason County, West Virginia, USA, at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. The population was 4,350 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Point Pleasant, WV-OH Micropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,350 people, 2,014 households, and 1,162 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,812.5 inhabitants per square mile (699.8/km2). There were 2,244 housing units at an average density of 935.0 per square mile (361.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.9% White, 1.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.
There were 2,014 households of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.9% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.3% were non-families. 38.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.82.
Pick the Ideal Electrician Vocational School near Point Pleasant WV
Choosing the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Point Pleasant WV.
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