How to Choose the Best Electrician Tech School near Whatley Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Whatley AL. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, many potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found several that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that should be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs
There are three general options to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Whatley AL. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the three most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Alabama institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Whatley AL can undertake a multitude of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually assess general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process 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 important that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs
A possibility that you might have considered is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs have become more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Commuting expenses from Whatley AL are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Whatley AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Whatley AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Whatley AL graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Whatley AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Whatley AL electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Whatley home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Whatley AL, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Top Electrician Trade Schools Whatley Alabama
Picking the best electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Top Electrician Trade Schools and wanting more information on the topic How To Be Electrician. But as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician tech school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Whatley AL.
More Electric Locations in Alabama
Benjamin Franklin is generally credited with the invention of bifocals. Historians have produced some evidence to suggest that others may have come before him in the invention; however, a correspondence between George Whatley and John Fenno, editor of the Gazette of the United States, suggested that Franklin had indeed invented bifocals, and perhaps 50 years earlier than had been originally thought. However the College of Optometrists concluded:
Original bifocals were designed with the most convex lenses (for close viewing) in the lower half of the frame and the least convex lenses on the upper. Up until the beginning of the 20th century two separate lenses were cut in half and combined together in the rim of the frame. The mounting of two half lenses into a single frame led to a number of early complications and rendered such spectacles quite fragile. A method for fusing the sections of the lenses together was developed by Louis de Wecker at the end of the 19th century and patented by Dr. John L. Borsch, Jr. in 1908. Today most bifocals are created by molding a reading segment into a primary lens and are available with the reading segments in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most popular is the D-segment, 28 mm wide. While the D-segment bifocal offers superior optics, an increasing number of people opt for progressive bifocal lenses.
Bifocals can cause headaches and even dizziness in some users. Acclimation to the small field of view offered by the reading segment of bifocals can take some time, as the user learns to move either the head or the reading material rather than the eyes. Computer monitors are generally placed directly in front of users and can lead to muscle fatigue due to the unusual straight and constant movement of the head. This trouble is mitigated by the use of trifocal lenses or by the use of monofocal lenses for computer users.