How to Become an Electrician in Romney West Virginia
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Romney WV. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many points to consider. For instance, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Romney WV
There are several approaches to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Romney WV. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by West Virginia trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to finish and are offered by West Virginia community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain West Virginia institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Romney WV can carry out a multitude of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 3 levels of competency:
- 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Romney WV
A possibility that you may have considered is choosing an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually 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 accommodating alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Travelling expenses from Romney WV are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Romney WV area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial 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 an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Romney WV program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Romney WV graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Romney WV area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Romney WV electrical contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Romney residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their comments relating to 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 hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Romney WV, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Romney WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Romney WV area.
Romney, West Virginia
Romney is a city in and the county seat of Hampshire County, West Virginia, USA. The population was 1,940 at the 2000 census, while the area covered by the city's ZIP code had a population of 5,873. The population was 1,848 at the 2010 census.
Established by consecutive acts of the Virginia House of Burgesses and approved by the governor on December 23, 1762, Romney and Mecklenberg (later renamed Shepherdstown), in Jefferson County, are the oldest towns in West Virginia. The bill containing the Act for establishing the town of Romney, in the county of Hampshire, and for other purposes therein-mentioned, is listed 20th on a list of approved "publick and private bills" and is immediately followed by An Act for establishing the town of Mecklenburg, in the county of Frederick. 
Originally settled in 1725 by hunters and traders, Romney was known as Pearsall's Flats and was the site of the French and Indian War stockade Fort Pearsall. Named for the Cinque Ports town of Romney, Kent, England by Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the town still bears place names and symbols from its colonial past such as its Marsham Street, named for Robert Marsham, 2nd Baron Romney. It is also home to the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind and the nation's First Confederate Memorial in Indian Mound Cemetery.
Find the Right Electrical Vocational School near Romney WV
Choosing the ideal electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical 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 examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Romney WV.
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