How to Choose the Best Electrician Trade School near Shelby Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Shelby AL. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of points to examine. For instance, some students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found a few that are within driving range, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only things that should be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when selecting an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs
There are multiple ways to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Shelby AL. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. In many cases these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards those who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Alabama colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed before licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Shelby AL can perform a vast array of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about 4 to 5 years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be earned in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 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 crucial that the electrician vocational school that you select not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online
A possibility that you may have contemplated is choosing an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs have become more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning can be a more practical option for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Driving costs from Shelby AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Shelby AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Shelby AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Shelby AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Shelby AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Shelby AL electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Shelby residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Shelby AL, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Become An Electrician Shelby Alabama
Choosing the best electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Become An Electrician and wanting more information on the topic Accredited Electrician Trade Schools. But as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Shelby AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 195,085. The county seat is Columbiana. The county is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky from 1792 to 1796 and again from 1812 to 1816.
Shelby County was established on February 7, 1818, and it was named for the Revolutionary War hero and the first Governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby. Beginning in 1820, the first county seat was located at Shelbyville. This settlement, long defunct, was located within the modern city limits of Pelham. The first courthouse was built of logs. The seat was moved to Columbia, now Columbiana, in 1826. Initially housed in an old school building, a new brick courthouse building was completed in 1854. It is now known as the Old Shelby County Courthouse and houses the Shelby County Museum and Archives. The current limestone courthouse was built from 1905–06, at a cost of $300,000.
Shelby County was the home of an early inland waterway, the Coosa River, and it was also the location of a very early east-west railroad in Alabama that connected Atlanta, Georgia, with locations to its west. Shelby County was also crossed by an early north-south railroad, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, that connected Louisville, Nashville, Decatur, Birmingham, and Montgomery.
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