How to Find the Best Electrician Technical School near Palmer Alaska
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Palmer AK. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many variables to consider. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Palmer AK. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you intend to become certified. Following are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Alaska vocational and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to complete and are offered by Alaska junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some Alaska colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be performed before licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Palmer AK can undertake a vast array of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be obtained in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes three levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you select not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes
An option that you might have contemplated is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning can be a more accommodating option for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting costs from Palmer AK are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed online also. Each of these advantages can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Palmer AK area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Palmer AK program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many 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 considering 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 may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Palmer AK students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Palmer AK area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment 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 instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Palmer AK electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Palmer residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Palmer AK, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
How Many Years To Become An Electrician Palmer Alaska
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Many Years To Become An Electrician and wanting more information on the topic Top Electrician Trade Schools. But as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best 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 some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Palmer AK.
More Electric Locations in Alaska
Palmer is a city in and the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,937.
The first people to live in the Matanuska Valley, where Palmer is located, were the Dena'ina and Ahtna Athabaskans. They moved throughout the area, living a subsistence lifestyle and trading with other native groups. Their trade routes were along the Matanuska River. Russians came to Alaska in 1741 and brought the Russian Orthodox religious tradition to the indigenous peoples of the region. In the early 1890s, an entrepreneur named George W. Palmer built a trading post on the Matanuska River, near present-day Palmer. The town was later named after Palmer.
In the late 19th century, the U.S. government began to take interest in the Matanuska coal fields located north of Palmer. This interest sparked financiers to consider constructing the Alaska Central Railroad in 1904. The advent of World War I created a need for high-quality coal to fuel U.S. battleships, and by 1917 the US Navy had constructed rail from the port of Seward to the Chickaloon coal deposits. At the end of World War I, the U.S. Navy distributed land in the coal fields to war veterans and additional land was opened to homesteading. Farmers, miners and homesteaders began to populate the area. The Palmer Post Office was opened July 6, 1917, under the name of Warton. With railroad accessibility, new markets for agriculture began to open up for farmers in the Matanuska Valley.
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