How to Select the Best Electrician Trade School near Foley Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Foley AL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to examine. For instance, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have found some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when picking an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
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Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options
There are several ways to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Foley AL. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are short descriptions of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Alabama trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Alabama colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be completed before licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Foley AL can carry out a wide range of duties, 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 become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations 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 tech school that you choose not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online
A possibility that you might have considered is choosing an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more accommodating alternative for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Foley AL are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. 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.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Foley AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Foley AL school is 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 acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified 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 broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Foley AL students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Foley AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Foley AL electrical company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Foley home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Foley AL, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Education Requirements For Electrician Foley Alabama
Choosing the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Education Requirements For Electrician and wanting more information on the topic Electrician Certification Classes. But as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Foley AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Foley is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 14,618. Foley is a principal city of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Baldwin County.
Foley was named for its founder, John B. Foley of Chicago.As Foley was traveling to President McKinley's funeral in 1901, he met a railroad agent who told him of the area in South Baldwin County. Foley came down the following year, and he liked what he saw and bought up to between 40,000 acres (160 km2) and 50,000 acres (200 km2) of land. He then returned to Chicago and formed the Magnolia Land Company. As he began to sell off acreage, he realized the need for a better way for the people to come to Foley.
Foley used some of his own money to lay the rails so the train could come from Bay Minette. The first railroad station was built in 1905. The original station burned in 1908 and was replaced the following year by the station that is now the City's museum. John Foley donated parcels of land for a school and churches. These included the current Catholic Church, Saint Margaret of Scotland, the Baptist church and the Methodist church. The first train to service Foley was a wood burner called the "Pine Knot Special." It would leave Foley in the morning and make a return trip in the afternoon. As people cleared the land, they would place lighter knots in a wood box for the engineer to use as was needed. Foley was incorporated in 1915 with G. I. Weatherly serving as its first mayor.
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