How to Pick the Best Electrician Tech School near Fairhope Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Fairhope AL. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to consider. For example, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only things 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 contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple options to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Fairhope AL. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are short summaries of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to complete and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Alabama colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Fairhope AL can undertake a multitude of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing 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 become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process 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 crucial that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online
An option that you might have considered is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more accommodating option for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Driving costs from Fairhope AL are also minimized and some of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Fairhope AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Fairhope AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training program 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 complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Fairhope AL grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Fairhope AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Fairhope AL electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Fairhope residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple 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 comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and learn 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 meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Fairhope AL, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Vocational School For Electrician Fairhope Alabama
Choosing the best electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Vocational School For Electrician and wanting more information on the topic Electrical Technician Course. But as we have discussed 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 tech school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Fairhope AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.
Fairhope was founded in November 1894 on the site of the former Alabama City as a radical Georgist "Single-Tax" colony by the Fairhope Industrial Association, a group of 28 followers of economist Henry George who had incorporated earlier that year in Des Moines, Iowa. Their corporate constitution explained their purpose in founding a new colony:
In forming their demonstration project, they pooled their funds to purchase land at "Stapleton's pasture" on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and then divided it into a number of long-term leaseholds. The corporation paid all governmental taxes from rents paid by the lessees, thus simulating a single-tax. The purpose of the single-tax colony was to eliminate disincentives for productive use of land and thereby retain the value of land for the community.
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