How to Become an Electrician in Marathon Wisconsin
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Marathon WI. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many variables to consider. For example, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have found several that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final 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 choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Marathon WI
There are several options to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Marathon WI. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Wisconsin trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards those who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to finish and are offered by Wisconsin junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Wisconsin institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Marathon WI can undertake a vast array of tasks, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be obtained in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Marathon WI
An option that you might have contemplated is selecting an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more accommodating alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Commuting expenses from Marathon WI are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be accessed on line also. All 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.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Marathon WI area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Marathon WI school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Marathon WI graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Marathon WI area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Marathon WI electrical contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Marathon home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few 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 programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Marathon WI, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Marathon WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Marathon WI area.
Marathon County, Wisconsin
Marathon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 134,063. Its county seat is Wausau. It was founded in 1850, created from a portion of Portage County. At that time the county stretched to the northern border with the upper Michigan peninsula. It is named after the battlefield at Marathon, Greece.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,576 square miles (4,080 km2), of which 1,545 square miles (4,000 km2) is land and 31 square miles (80 km2) (2.0%) is water. It is the largest county in Wisconsin by land area and fourth-largest by total area. It is also notable for containing the 45°N, 90°W point.
As of the census of 2000, there were 125,834 people, 47,702 households, and 33,868 families residing in the county. The population density was 81 people per square mile (31/km²). There were 50,360 housing units at an average density of 33 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.84% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 4.54% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. 0.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 52.6% were of German and 13.6% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.9% spoke English, 3.4% Hmong, 1.1% German and 1.1% Spanish as their first language.
Choose the Ideal Electrician Vocational School near Marathon WI
Picking the ideal electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Marathon WI.
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