How to Become an Electrician in Lake Geneva Wisconsin
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Lake Geneva WI. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, many students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have found a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Lake Geneva WI
There are multiple options to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Lake Geneva WI. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Wisconsin technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who wish to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to finish and are offered by Wisconsin community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Wisconsin colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Lake Geneva WI can perform a vast array of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be acquired in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes three 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 trade school that you choose not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Lake Geneva WI
A possibility that you might have contemplated is choosing an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs have become more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling expenses from Lake Geneva WI are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Because there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Lake Geneva WI area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Lake Geneva 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 make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Lake Geneva WI grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Lake Geneva WI area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lake Geneva WI electrical company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lake Geneva home. Take note that if you decide to attend 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 important that you receive as much personalized training 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience 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 handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lake Geneva WI, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Lake Geneva WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lake Geneva WI area.
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Lake Geneva is a city in Walworth County, Wisconsin, USA. The population was 7,651 at the 2010 census. A resort city located on Geneva Lake, it is popular with vacationers from Chicago and Milwaukee areas.
Originally called "Maunk-suck" (Big Foot) for a Potawatomi chief, the city was later named Geneva after the town of Geneva, New York, located on Seneca Lake, to which early settler John Brink saw a resemblance. To avoid confusion with the nearby town of Geneva, Illinois, it was renamed Lake Geneva. The abutting lake is named Geneva Lake.
Railroad access from Chicago made the area a popular summer retreat for the barons of wealth in lumber, cattle, oil, steel, cement, manufacturing, and durable goods (e.g., Morton Salt, Wrigley Chewing Gum), with mansions and large homes such as Stone Manor and Black Point built on the lake from the 1850s, through the heyday of the Roaring 20s, and up to the present day. The city was then known as "The Newport of the West."
Pick the Right Electrical Vocational School near Lake Geneva WI
Selecting the right electrician 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 several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are considering 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 offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Lake Geneva WI.
Other Cool Cities in Wisconsin
Business Results 1 - 10 of 93