How to Become an Electrician in Norwalk Wisconsin
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Norwalk WI. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of points to evaluate. For instance, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Norwalk WI
There are three general ways to obtain electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Norwalk WI. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Wisconsin vocational and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who wish to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to complete and are offered by Wisconsin community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Wisconsin institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be performed before licensing. For that reason, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Norwalk WI can carry out a vast array of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually test electrical theory and general knowledge, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be obtained in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you select not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Norwalk WI
A possibility that you may have contemplated is choosing an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more practical option for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Travelling costs from Norwalk WI are also lessened and some of the study materials may be available on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Norwalk WI area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools 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 an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Norwalk WI program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. 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 training programs 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 program and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Norwalk WI students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Norwalk WI area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Norwalk WI electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Norwalk residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees 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 are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Norwalk WI, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Norwalk WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Norwalk WI area.
South Norwalk station
The South Norwalk station is a commuter rail stop on the Metro-North Railroad's New Haven Line, located in Norwalk, Connecticut. It is owned and managed by the Norwalk Transit District. Nicknamed "SoNo" by riders and staff, the station is the point where the New Haven Line's Danbury Branch connects to the Northeast Corridor, as well as a peak-hour terminal for some express trains. It is the last stop for New Haven super-express trains before they run non-stop to Grand Central Terminal in New York. Just east of the station is the South Norwalk Railroad Bridge, and next to that is the SONO Switch Tower Museum, a preserved switch tower which is open on summer weekend afternoons. Amtrak uses the inner tracks as it does not stop at South Norwalk.
The older station building at the eastbound side of the tracks contains a small restaurant, serving pizza, wine and beer. This side features a bus station and taxi stands. The 900-square-foot (84 m2) space is subleased from the New England Fashion Design Association.
The newer, main station building, on the westbound (New York City-bound) side of the tracks, was built in 1994. It has a cafe serving coffee, breakfast sandwiches, and pastries during the morning. The New York side's station building consists of a small waiting area with a gigantic glass arch, overlooking the tracks. To reach either side, passengers go through a pedestrian underpass. The New York side consists of a 6-level parking garage with taxi and bus stands. The Norwalk Parking Authority owns the garage along with the New Haven side's parking lot.
Choose the Ideal Electrical Trade School near Norwalk WI
Choosing the ideal electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out 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 school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Norwalk WI.
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