How to Become an Electrician in Stevens Point Wisconsin
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Stevens Point WI. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many variables to examine. For instance, many prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located several that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers 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 first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Stevens Point WI
There are several ways to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Stevens Point WI. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Wisconsin vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who would like to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to finish and are provided by Wisconsin junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Wisconsin institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Stevens Point WI can carry out a vast array of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases involves 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician trade school that you choose not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Stevens Point WI
An option that you may have contemplated is selecting an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning may be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Commuting costs from Stevens Point WI are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available online as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Stevens Point WI area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Stevens Point WI school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Stevens Point WI grads obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Stevens Point WI area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Stevens Point WI electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Stevens Point residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm 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 Stevens Point WI, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Stevens Point WI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Stevens Point WI area.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Its 2010 population of 26,717 makes it the largest city in the county. Stevens Point forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Stevens Point Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2010 population of 69,916.
Historically part of the Menominee homelands, a three-mile strip along the Wisconsin River was ceded to the United States in an 1836 treaty. In 1854 the Menominee made its last treaty with the U.S., gathering on a reservation on the Wolf River. In the Menominee language it is called Pasīpahkīhnen which means "It juts out as land" or "point of land".
Stevens Point was named in English after George Stevens, who operated a grocery and supply business on the Wisconsin River during the extensive logging of interior Wisconsin. The river was used by logging companies to float logs to market. Loggers on the river found this a convenient stopping point, as the river bends slightly and the operation was from far upstream. The town developed from Stevens's post and was named for him.
Choose the Right Electrical Trade School near Stevens Point WI
Picking the best electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Stevens Point WI.
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