How to Select the Best Electrician Trade School near Lexington Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Lexington AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of points to examine. For instance, many potential students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole things that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options
There are multiple ways to get electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Lexington AL. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards those who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to complete and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Lexington AL can carry out a wide range of tasks, 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 required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be obtained in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes
An option that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning can be a more practical option for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving costs from Lexington AL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Lexington AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Lexington AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many 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 program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train 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 alumni, which may produce 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Lexington AL students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Lexington AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Lexington AL electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lexington residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lexington AL, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Accredited Electrician Certificate Programs Lexington Alabama
Selecting the right electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Accredited Electrician Certificate Programs and wanting more information on the topic Journeyman Electrician Classes. But as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Lexington AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Lexington is a town in Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". It incorporated in 1959. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town is 735, down from 840 in 2000. The current Mayor of Lexington is Sandra Killen-Burroughs, Wife of the Famous Race Car Driver Barry Burroughs.
As of the census of 2000, there were 840 people, 364 households, and 244 families residing in the town. The population density was 261.5 people per square mile (101.0/km²). There were 394 housing units at an average density of 122.6 per square mile (47.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.29% White, 0.24% Native American, and 0.48% from two or more races. 0.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 364 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.2% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.7% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.86.
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