How to Select the Right Electrician Technical School near Decatur Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Decatur AL. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of points to examine. For instance, many students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. After they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will address 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 options that are available.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Decatur AL. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Decatur AL can perform a wide range of services, such as 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 required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around four to five years of practical experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be obtained in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes
An alternative that you may have contemplated is selecting an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning may be a more accommodating choice for students that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Decatur AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available online also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Decatur AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Decatur AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Decatur AL grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Decatur AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Decatur AL electrical contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Decatur home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may 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 difficult in larger 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 students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Decatur AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Journeyman Electrician Classes Decatur Alabama
Choosing the right electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Journeyman Electrician Classes and wanting more information on the topic Electrical Contractor Training Program. But as we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Decatur AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the State of Alabama. The city, nicknamed "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.
Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second-largest city.
Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, mining, cargo transit, chemical, and high-tech companies such as Vulcan Materials, Daikin, Toray, United Launch Alliance.
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The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) provides the following information regarding which states require an examination to become a journeyman electrician. If it is noted that an exam is required in a particular state, certain jurisdictions within that state may not necessarily require one when issuing journeyman electrician licenses locally.
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Electrician Schools - Training and Certification
In addition, some areas regulate that only a master electrician can complete top-level duties such as dealing with permit agents and designing new systems. How Much Can I Earn as an Electrician? According to the U.S Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electricians made annual wages between $33,410 and $96,580 per year in 2019.