How to Select the Best Electrician Vocational School near Ashville Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Ashville AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found a few that are within driving range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that should be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final judgment when choosing an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs
There are several options to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Ashville AL. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short explanations of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who would like to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to complete and are offered by Alabama community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Alabama colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most 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 anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Ashville AL can carry out a wide range of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually around 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, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be earned in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you select not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools
An alternative that you may have looked at is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, internet learning may be a more convenient option for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Commuting costs from Ashville AL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. All of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Ashville AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Ashville AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many 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 looking at 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 signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Ashville AL students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Ashville AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools 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, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Ashville AL electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Ashville home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Ashville AL, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Electrician Certification Schools Ashville Alabama
Choosing the right electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Electrician Certification Schools and wanting more information on the topic Electrical Degree Online. But as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Ashville AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Ashville is a city in St. Clair County, Alabama, United States. Its population was 2,212 at the 2010 census, down from 2,260, at which time it was a town. Ashville is the county seat of St. Clair County along with Pell City. It incorporated in 1822.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Ashville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,260 people, 814 households, and 608 families residing in the town. The population density was 116.9 people per square mile (45.1/km2). There were 905 housing units at an average density of 46.8 per square mile (18.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 69.42% White, 26.55% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.31% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 2.88% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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