How to Choose the Right Electrician Technical School near Dothan Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Dothan AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, some students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have found several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold 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 being an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options
There are three general ways to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Dothan AL. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are short summaries of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Alabama trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to finish and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Alabama colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Dothan AL can perform a wide range of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing 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 most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly test electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails three levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs
A possibility that you may have looked at is selecting an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more accommodating option for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Travelling expenses from Dothan AL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available online also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Dothan AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Dothan AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Dothan AL grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Dothan AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local 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 regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Dothan AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Dothan home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with 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 evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Dothan AL, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Electronics Trade School Dothan Alabama
Picking the right electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Electronics Trade School and wanting more information on the topic Electrical Training Certificate. But as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Dothan AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Dothan /ˈdoʊθən/ is a city in Dale, Henry, and Houston counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the largest city and county seat of Houston County, with a population of 65,496 at the 2010 census. It is in the state's southeastern corner, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the Georgia state line and 16 miles (26 km) north of Florida. It is named after the biblical city, the place where Joseph's brothers threw him into a cistern and sold him into slavery in Egypt.
Dothan is the principal city of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties; the small portion in Dale County is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The combined population of the entire Dothan metropolitan area in 2010 was 145,639. The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle. Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, much of it processed in the city, Dothan is sometimes called "The Peanut Capital of the World". It also hosts the annual National Peanut Festival at the dedicated "Peanut Festival Fairgrounds".
The area that is now Dothan was inhabited for thousands of years by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. In historic times it was occupied by the Alabama and Creek Native American tribes who were hunters and gatherers in the vast forests of pine that covered this region. These tribes had developed complex cultures, and often used to meet and camp for trading near a large spring at the crossroads of two trails.
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