How to Select the Right Electrician Technical School near Saint Marys Alaska
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Saint Marys AK. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options
There are multiple ways to receive electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Saint Marys AK. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Alaska trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards those who would like to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to finish and are offered by Alaska community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain Alaska institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Saint Marys AK can undertake a vast array of tasks, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly around four to five years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 3 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you select not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs
An option that you may have contemplated is choosing an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Saint Marys AK are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once 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 tech and trade schools in the Saint Marys AK area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical schools have acquired 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, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Saint Marys AK school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent 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 more extensive list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Saint Marys AK graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Saint Marys AK area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Saint Marys AK electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Saint Marys residence. Take note 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 important that you receive as much individualized 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 see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Saint Marys AK, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
I Want To Be An Electrician Saint Marys Alaska
Choosing the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally came to this website due to an interest in I Want To Be An Electrician and wanting more information on the topic Accredited Electrician Schools Online. But as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Saint Marys AK.
More Electric Locations in Alaska
St. Mary's, Alaska
St. Mary's (Negeqliq in Central Yup'ik) is a city in Kusilvak Census Area, Alaska, United States. The adjacent village of Andreafsky (historically known as Clear River) joined with St. Mary's in 1980. At the 2010 census the population was 507, up from 500 in 2000. By 2016, the population was estimated to be 550.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 50.2 square miles (130 km2), of which, 44.0 square miles (114 km2) of it is land and 6.3 square miles (16 km2) of it (12.47%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 500 people, 137 households, and 90 families residing in the city. The population density was 11.4 people per square mile (4.4/km²). There were 186 housing units at an average density of 4.2 per square mile (1.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 11.20% White, 87.20% Native American. 0.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.