How to Become an Electrician in Winfield West Virginia
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Winfield WV. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many factors to consider. For example, many students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified several that are within driving range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that should be considered. 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 final decision when selecting an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Winfield WV
There are several approaches to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Winfield WV. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Following are short explanations of the three most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by West Virginia trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to finish and are offered by West Virginia community colleges, commonly 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 earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some West Virginia institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Winfield WV can perform a multitude of tasks, such as testing, installing and replacing 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 the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about four to five years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails three 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 important that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Winfield WV
A possibility that you might have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs have become more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning may be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Travelling costs from Winfield WV are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be available on line also. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Things 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 Winfield WV region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Winfield WV school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can mean 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Winfield WV graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Winfield WV area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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, talk to the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Winfield WV electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Winfield home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction 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 big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors 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 fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Winfield WV, check that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Winfield WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Winfield WV area.
Winfield, West Virginia
Winfield is a part of the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 287,702. New definitions from February 28, 2013 placed the population at 363,000.
Winfield was established on a 400-acre (160 ha) tract of land owned by Charles Brown. He established a ferry across the river in 1818. The first meeting of the county court was held at the home of Talleyrand P. Brown, in Winfield, on May 22, 1848. The town was incorporated on February 21, 1868, and named in honor of Winfield Scott, the commanding general of the U.S. Army during the Mexican–American War.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,301 people, 920 households, and 660 families residing in the town. The population density was 954.8 inhabitants per square mile (368.7/km2). There were 967 housing units at an average density of 401.2 per square mile (154.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.2% White, 1.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
Find the Right Electrician Trade School near Winfield WV
Selecting the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical tech school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Winfield WV.
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