How to Become an Electrician in Oconto Wisconsin
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Oconto WI. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many variables to examine. For instance, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that should be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Oconto WI
There are multiple approaches to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Oconto WI. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Wisconsin vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who would like to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to complete and are offered by Wisconsin community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Wisconsin colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Oconto WI can undertake a multitude of duties, 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 required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about four to five years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be obtained in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you select not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Oconto WI
A possibility that you might have looked at is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more accommodating option for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting costs from Oconto WI are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available on line also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Oconto WI area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have acquired 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 sure that the Oconto WI program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Oconto WI grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Oconto WI area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable 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 trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Oconto WI electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Oconto home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult 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 witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Oconto 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 permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Oconto WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Oconto WI area.
Oconto is a city in Oconto County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 4,513 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is located partially within the town of Oconto.
Oconto is home to Copper Culture State Park, which has remains dated to around 5000-6000 B.C. It is a burial ground of the Copper Culture Indians. This burial ground is considered to be the oldest cemetery in Wisconsin and one of the oldest in the nation.
The first Christian Science church in the world was erected in 1886 in Oconto and still stands at the corner of Main Street and Chicago Street. The land was donated by Henry (1837–1904) and Victoria Sargent (1848–1930).
Select the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Oconto WI
Selecting the right electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Oconto WI.
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