How to Select the Right Electrician Training School near Muscle Shoals Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Muscle Shoals AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to examine. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when picking an electrician training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options
There are three general ways to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Muscle Shoals AL. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are brief descriptions of the three most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are provided by Alabama community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Alabama colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of 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 Muscle Shoals AL can undertake a multitude of tasks, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally about four to five years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be acquired in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure 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 imperative that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online
An option that you might have considered is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving expenses from Muscle Shoals AL are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Muscle Shoals AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Muscle Shoals AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Muscle Shoals AL grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician training programs are taught along 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 electrician businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Muscle Shoals AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Muscle Shoals AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Muscle Shoals home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Muscle Shoals AL, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Electrical Training School Muscle Shoals Alabama
Choosing the right electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Electrical Training School and wanting more information on the topic Electrician Education And Training Requirements. But as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. 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 proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Muscle Shoals AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Both the city and the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area (including four cities in Colbert and Lauderdale counties) are commonly called "the Shoals".Northwest Alabama Regional Airport serves the Shoals region, located in the northwest section of the state.
Since the 1960s, the city has been known for music – developing the "Muscle Shoals Sound", as local recording studios (including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969) produced hit records that shaped the history of popular music.
Due to its strategic location along the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals played a key role in historic land disputes between Native Americans and Anglo-American settlers in the late 18th century and early 19th century.
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In addition, some areas regulate that only a master electrician can complete top-level duties such as dealing with permit agents and designing new systems. How Much Can I Earn as an Electrician? According to the U.S Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electricians made annual wages between $33,410 and $96,580 per year in 2019.