How to Become an Electrician in Albany Wisconsin
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Albany WI. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of points to consider. For instance, some students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that should be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Albany WI
There are several options to receive electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Albany WI. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are brief summaries of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Wisconsin trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are provided by Wisconsin community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain Wisconsin colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Albany WI can undertake a multitude of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually around four to five years of experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be earned in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations 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 vocational school that you pick not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Albany WI
An alternative that you may have considered is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more practical choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Commuting costs from Albany WI are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Albany WI region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, 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 variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Albany WI school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training program 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Albany WI grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Albany WI area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Albany WI electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Albany residence. Take note that if you decide to attend 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 get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Albany WI, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. 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 due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Albany WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Albany WI area.
Enroll in the Right Electrical Vocational School near Albany WI
Selecting the best electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Albany WI.
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