How to Become an Electrician in Cumberland Wisconsin
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Cumberland WI. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many variables to consider. For instance, many potential students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole things that must be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Cumberland WI
There are several approaches to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Cumberland WI. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are brief summaries of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Wisconsin technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to finish and are provided by Wisconsin junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Wisconsin colleges, 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 more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Cumberland WI can carry out a wide range of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be earned in many specialties, including 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 trade school that you enroll in not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Cumberland WI
A possibility that you might have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning might be a more practical option for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from Cumberland WI are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Cumberland WI area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Cumberland WI school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools 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 lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also mean 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 more extensive directory of graduates, 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Cumberland WI grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Cumberland WI area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Cumberland WI electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Cumberland residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased 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 difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cumberland WI, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out 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 Cumberland WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Cumberland WI area.
Cumberland is a city in Barron County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 2,170 at the 2010 census. The city is located partially within the Town of Cumberland. It was incorporated in 1885.
Cumberland is often called the “Island City” and the main part of the city, including the original settlement, is located on land surrounded by Beaver Dam Lake, originally settled by Chippewa Indian Tribe. Beaver Dam Lake was referred to as Che-wa-cum-ma-towangok or “Lake Made by the Beavers,” by the local tribe. The Chief of the Chippewa Tribe was Pon-gee Rau-gen, or “Little Pipe”. He continued to live in the area even after it was settled by European settlers and drowned in a canoe on Beaver Dam Lake in 1895. In 1874, A. Ritan and R. H. Clothier explored the area with the intention of settling in there. While exploring, they came across surveyors that informed them of the upcoming railroad line that the North Wisconsin Railway Company planned to lay in the area. A. Ritan, who lived near what is today Turtle Lake and the Dahlby Family, originally of Norwegian descent, from the town of New Richmond, both filed a homestead near the proposed railroad and built two log cabins, 300 feet north of the present high school location. In 1878, the North Wisconsin Railroad Company extended the rail lines through the area. Prior to the railroad, settlers were required to get provisions in Rice Lake, Barron or Clayton. In 1880, the Dahlby Family sold their cabin and moved to Chandler (now known as Spooner) and open a store. A. Ritan, also originally from Norway, lived in Cumberland for many years and helped develop the city before moving to Portland, Oregon.
R. H. Clothier also took a homestead and built a farm in 1875. On December 30, 1875 the town of Lakeside was organized, encompassing what is now Lakeland Township, Almena Township, Crystal Lake Township and Maple Plain Township. During the winter of 1876 a bridge, called Bonett Bridge, was built off the island and soon after a school was located on the mainland area near the bridge with Miss Ida Schofield as the original teacher. She was soon replaced by Miss Carrie Fay, who arrived from nearby Prairie Farm. On January 1, 1880, the name was changed to Cumberland at the request of John Humbird, who arrived in the area from Cumberland, Maryland. Almena Township joined with the Turtle Lake Township a couple of months later and on November 12, 1902 Crystal Lake became their own Township. In early 1876 a post office, originally called Lakeland, was established three miles east of the city with L.I. Gunderson being named postmaster. On September 10, 1876, Mae Jenet Hodgkin became the first white person born on the island. The first grocery store was opened by David Ingle and Elmer Wisner of Clear Lake opened the first blacksmith shop in 1878. In the winter of 1879 the name was changed to Cumberland. In July 1880, Dr. William Hopkins arrived from Maine and set up a practice. At the time, it was the only practice between Clear Lake, Wisconsin and Lake Superior. Also around this time, a steam sawmill was set up in northern Cumberland, in what is now the "Mill Hill" area and operated for a few years until it was destroyed by fire on August 15, 1884. The Lakeside Cemetery was established in 1880. In 1881, the first newspaper, the Cumberland Herald (later the Cumberland Advocate) began printing. The first bank, the Bank of Cumberland, began operation on October 8, 1883. After the railroad begin to operate, settlers quickly arrived in the area and by 1884 there were 24 saloons located in the area. In 1885 a jail and fire department, with N. D. Richards named the Fire Chief, were established and by the late 1880s the first hotel was kept by Jack Collingwood, followed by several other hotels. Soon the Elm Street Bridge was completed and the Fire Department moved from their Lake Street location to their present location. In February 1893, the state board of health sent a representative to set up a quarantine on the Italian settlement due to unsanitary conditions. On August 1, 1884 the city borrowed $5,900 via bond issue to establish a system of waterworks which was constructed by Fairbanks, Morse and Company in February 1895. In April of the same year, telephone lines were also erected in the city limits. On September 14, 1895, the newly built water tank burst and damaged several nearby properties. On November 20, 1897 the city approved a resolution to for street lighting of all public grounds by electricity. In 1903 the Uecke's Opera House was opened and still remains today apartment complex. The same year, a large school was constructed on the island on the present location of the Cumberland Elementary School. On March 15, 1905 a $10,000 donation from Andrew Carnegie established a Carnegie Library in Cumberland. In 1914 the Island City Hospital was created by Dr. George Grinde and included a 20-bed hospital and X-ray facilities.
Choose the Ideal Electrician Vocational School near Cumberland WI
Picking the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount 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 offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Cumberland WI.
Other Cool Cities in Wisconsin