How to Select the Best Electrician Technical School near Athens Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Athens AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have found some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Athens AL. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. In many cases 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 intend to earn certification. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Alabama vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Alabama colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Athens AL can carry out a multitude of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three levels of competency:
- 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 crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online
A possibility that you might have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more accommodating alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Travelling costs from Athens AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Athens AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other factors that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Athens AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Athens AL grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Athens AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Athens AL electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Athens home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult 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. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Athens AL, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Becoming An Electrician Athens Alabama
Picking the right electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Becoming An Electrician and wanting more information on the topic Electrician Trade School Cost. But as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Athens AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
Founded in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll, and John Read, Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the state, having been incorporated one year prior to the state's admittance to the Union in 1819. Limestone County was also created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818. The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient city in Greece. The town's first mayor was Samuel Tanner, and the Tanner area, south of Athens, was named on his behalf.
The Athens area was the home of William Wyatt Bibb, the first governor of Alabama, and its second governor, his brother Thomas Bibb, who succeeded him in office when he died in a fall from his horse.
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