How to Become an Electrician in Blair Wisconsin
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Blair WI. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many variables to examine. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located 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 sole factors that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Blair WI
There are three general approaches to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Blair WI. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Wisconsin vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who would like to enter an apprenticeship faster 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 provide a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Wisconsin colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Blair WI can undertake a wide range of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be earned in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 3 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Blair WI
A possibility that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning might be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Blair WI are also minimized and some of the study materials can be accessed online as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Blair WI region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Blair WI program and school 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 make certain that you get a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Blair WI students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
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 electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Blair WI area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Blair WI electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Blair residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Blair WI, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out 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 Blair WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Blair WI area.
The city was first settled during the 1850s. The majority of the city's population are descended from Norwegian settlers, with a smaller group descended from German settlers. The city's Norwegian heritage is represented by annual lefse and lutefisk suppers at the churches and a love of polka music. A lefse company is located in Blair.
The city's name was changed from Porterville in 1873 when the Green Bay and Western Railroad was routed through the city. The new name of Blair came from one of the railroad's chief investors, John Insley Blair. At one time, during the heyday of railroads, a branch line connected the GB&W with the nearby city of Ettrick (although it was later abandoned). The railroad continues to operate, although under a different name.
The city has avoided the fate of some small towns in the Midwest which slowly lost population due to young people leaving for jobs elsewhere. The population of Blair nearly doubled in the years between 1950 and 2000. During the 1950s and earlier annual floods during the snow melt were often experienced, but better farming techniques now make flooding rare. More recently, a number of Amish farming families have settled in the area and their horse-drawn carriages are sometimes seen on the roads.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Blair WI
Picking the ideal electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Blair WI.
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