How to Pick the Right Electrician Technical School near Northport Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Northport AL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, many students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when picking an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options
There are three general approaches to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Northport AL. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Alabama technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to finish and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed before licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Northport AL can carry out a vast array of services, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be earned in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you choose not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes
An option that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs have become more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning may be a more practical option for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Travelling expenses from Northport AL are also reduced and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Northport AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Northport AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Northport AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Northport AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Northport AL electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Northport home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction 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 witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to 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 Northport AL, check that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
How Long To Become An Electrician Northport Alabama
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Long To Become An Electrician and wanting more information on the topic Learn To Be An Electrician Online. But as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate 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 talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Northport AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Northport is a city in Tuscaloosa County in the west central part of the State of Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River across from downtown Tuscaloosa, it is currently the 21st largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of 24,497 in 2013. It incorporated in 1871. It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As Northport is adjacent to the larger city of Tuscaloosa, many residents work in Tuscaloosa or other parts of Tuscaloosa County. Although the two cities share a land boundary, much of their boundary (and historically all of the boundary) is the Black Warrior River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,435 people, 7,844 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.3 people per square mile (512.9/km²). There were 8,509 housing units at an average density of 581.6 per square mile (224.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.11% White, 26.03% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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