How to Enroll in the Best Electrician Vocational School near Huntsville Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Huntsville AL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, many prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have found several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that must be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications 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 to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs
There are multiple options to obtain electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Huntsville AL. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are short explanations of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to finish and are provided by Alabama community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at certain Alabama institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Huntsville AL can undertake a vast array of tasks, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually about four to five years of practical experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be acquired in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure 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 important that the electrician tech school that you select not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs
An alternative that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning may be a more practical option for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Huntsville AL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Huntsville AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Huntsville AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the electrician training course 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Huntsville AL grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Huntsville AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Huntsville AL electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Huntsville residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback relating to 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 hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Huntsville AL, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Commercial Electrician Training Huntsville Alabama
Selecting the best electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Commercial Electrician Training and wanting more information on the topic Online Electrical Classes. But as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician tech school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Huntsville AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County and south into Morgan County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census. Huntsville is the third-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was 417,593 in 2010 to become the 2nd largest in Alabama. Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014.
It grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.
The first settlers of the area were Muscogee-speaking people. The Chickasaw traditionally claim to have settled around 1300 after coming east across the Mississippi. A combination of factors, including depopulation due to disease, land disputes between the Choctaw and Cherokee, and pressures from the United States government had largely depopulated the area prior to 1805. That year Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt settled in the land around the Big Spring. The 1805 Treaty with the Chickasaws and the Cherokee Treaty of Washington of 1806 ceded native claims to the United States Government. The area was subsequently purchased by LeRoy Pope, who named the area Twickenham after the home village of his distant kinsman Alexander Pope.
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