How to Enroll in the Right Electrician Trade School near Montgomery Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Montgomery AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many variables to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. After they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are significant, 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 graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final decision when selecting an electrician 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 offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple options to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Montgomery AL. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the 3 most prevalent 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 students who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to complete and are provided by Alabama community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some Alabama colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Montgomery AL can perform a wide range of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases includes 3 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you choose not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online
An alternative that you might have contemplated is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating alternative for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting expenses from Montgomery AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be available online as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Montgomery AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria 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 while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Montgomery AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in 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 industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Montgomery AL students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Montgomery AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Montgomery AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Montgomery home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Montgomery AL, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Electrician School Cost Montgomery Alabama
Picking the ideal electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Electrician School Cost and wanting more information on the topic Education Requirements For Electrician. But as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Montgomery AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Montgomery is the capital city of the U.S. state of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County. Named for Richard Montgomery, it stands beside the Alabama River, on the coastal Plain of the Gulf of Mexico. In the 2010 Census, Montgomery's population was 205,764. It is the second most populous city in Alabama, after Birmingham, and is the 118th most populous in the United States. The Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area's population in 2010 was estimated at 374,536; it is the fourth largest in the state and 136th among United States metropolitan areas.
The city was incorporated in 1819 as a merger of two towns situated along the Alabama River. It became the state capital in 1846, representing the shift of power to the south-central area of Alabama with the growth of cotton as a commodity crop of the Black Belt and the rise of Mobile as a mercantile port on the Gulf Coast. In February 1861, Montgomery was chosen the first capital of the Confederate States of America, which it remained until the Confederate seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia, in May of that year. In the middle of the 20th century, Montgomery was a major center of events and protests in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches.
In addition to housing many Alabama government agencies, Montgomery has a large military presence, due to Maxwell Air Force Base; public universities Alabama State University, Troy University (Montgomery campus), and Auburn University at Montgomery; two private post-secondary institutions, Faulkner University and Huntingdon College; high-tech manufacturing, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama; and many cultural attractions, such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
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