How to Become an Electrician in Dodgeville Wisconsin
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Dodgeville WI. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many factors to examine. For instance, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located a few that are within driving range, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Dodgeville WI
There are multiple options to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Dodgeville WI. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three options. In many cases these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Wisconsin technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to complete and are offered by Wisconsin community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Wisconsin institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Dodgeville WI can undertake a vast array of functions, including 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 usually about four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be obtained in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 3 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 crucial that the electrician trade school that you choose not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Dodgeville WI
An option that you may have contemplated is choosing an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning may be a more practical choice for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling expenses from Dodgeville WI are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Dodgeville WI area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Dodgeville WI school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering 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 may suggest that students were dissatisfied 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 broader directory of alumni, which may produce 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 a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Dodgeville WI students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Dodgeville WI area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Dodgeville WI electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Dodgeville home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Dodgeville WI, verify that the schools you are looking at 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, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Dodgeville WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Dodgeville WI area.
Dodgeville is a city in and the county seat of Iowa County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 4,693 at the 2010 census, making it the county's most populous city. Dodgeville is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its sister city is Oakham, Rutland, United Kingdom.
In 1827, Henry Dodge, his family, and about 40 miners began what would become the city of Dodgeville. Dodge made a pact with the local Winnebago Indian leaders so he could build a cabin and smelter. The original community had three settlements: "Dodgeville", "Dirty Hollow" and "Minersville". A fourth settlement, Moon Spring, near the intersection of the present Highway 18 bypass and Bennett Road flourished until the cholera epidemic in the early 1850s.
Dodgeville, which was named after Dodge, grew slowly during its early years. It was incorporated as a village in the 1840s. Later a small "war" was fought with Mineral Point over which community would become the seat of Iowa County after Lafayette County was created. At the time, Mineral Point was the seat, because it was centrally located in the 'old' Iowa County that stretched from the Wisconsin River in the north south to the Illinois border.
Select the Ideal Electrician Technical School near Dodgeville WI
Choosing the right electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Dodgeville WI.
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