How to Become an Electrician in Prairie du Chien Wisconsin
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Prairie du Chien WI. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many factors to examine. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole things that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician school. We will discuss 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 educational choices that are available.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Prairie du Chien WI
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Prairie du Chien WI. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are brief summaries of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Wisconsin technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to finish and are provided by Wisconsin community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Wisconsin colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Prairie du Chien WI can carry out a wide range of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be earned in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases 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 important that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Prairie du Chien WI
An option that you might have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more practical alternative for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Prairie du Chien WI are also reduced and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. Each of these advantages can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Prairie du Chien WI area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Prairie du Chien WI school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Prairie du Chien WI students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Prairie du Chien WI area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Prairie du Chien WI electrical contractor if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Prairie du Chien residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor 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 a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prairie du Chien WI, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Prairie du Chien WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Prairie du Chien WI area.
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
Often referred to as Wisconsin's second oldest city, Prairie du Chien was established as a European settlement by French voyageurs in the late seventeenth century. The city is located near the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, a strategic point along the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway that connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi.
Early French visitors to the site found it occupied by a group of Fox Indians led by a chief whose name Alim meant chien in French (dog in English). The French explorers named the location Prairie du Chien, French for "Dog's Prairie". Originally this name applied only to the plain upon which the settlement is located, but it was later applied to the city as well. The city of Prairie du Chien is located between the Town of Prairie du Chien and the Town of Bridgeport.
The first known Europeans to reach Prairie du Chien were French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, who arrived by canoe on June 17, 1673, discovering a route to the Mississippi River. Later travel between French Canada and the Mississippi River continued to pass through Prairie du Chien, although routes via the Illinois River were also used. In 1685, the French explorer Nicolas Perrot established a trading post in the area as part of the large and lucrative French fur trade industry. After Americans entered the trade in the nineteenth century, John Jacob Astor built the Astor Fur Warehouse, an important building in the regional fur trade, which was centered in Prairie du Chien. The significance of Prairie du Chien as a center of the fur trade did not diminish until the mid-nineteenth century, when European demand declined, as did game stock.
Choose the Ideal Electrical Trade School near Prairie du Chien WI
Selecting the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to 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 need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Prairie du Chien WI.
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