How to Choose the Best Electrician Tech School near Breckenridge Colorado
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Breckenridge CO. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options
There are multiple ways to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Breckenridge CO. You can choose 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. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Following are brief explanations of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Colorado trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to complete and are provided by Colorado community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Colorado colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Breckenridge CO can perform a multitude of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually about four to five years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three 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 crucial that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online
An option that you might have looked at is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more practical alternative for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting costs from Breckenridge CO are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Breckenridge CO region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical 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, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Breckenridge CO program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 complete the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Breckenridge CO students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Breckenridge CO area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school 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, check with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Breckenridge CO electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Breckenridge residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn 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 evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Breckenridge CO, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Good Electrician Schools Breckenridge Colorado
Picking the right electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Good Electrician Schools and wanting more information on the topic Become A Licensed Electrician. But as we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Breckenridge CO.
More Electric Locations in Colorado
Breckenridge is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Summit County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 4,540 at the 2010 United States Census. The town also has many part-time residents, as many people have vacation homes in the area. The town is located at the base of the Tenmile Range.
Since ski trails were first cut in 1961, Breckenridge Ski Resort has made the town a popular destination for skiers. Summer in Breckenridge attracts outdoor enthusiasts with hiking trails, wildflowers, fly-fishing in the Blue River, mountain biking, nearby Lake Dillon for boating, white water rafting, three alpine slides, a roller coaster, and many shops and restaurants up and down Main Street. The historic buildings along Main Street with their clapboard and log exteriors add to the charm of the town. Since 1981, Breckenridge hosts the Breckenridge Festival of Film in September. In January each year since the 21st century there is a Backcountry Film Festival. That is held about the same time as the Ullr Fest, a week of celebrating snow and honoring the Norse god Ullr. There are many summer activities, including an annual Fourth of July parade.
The town of Breckenridge was formally created in November 1859 by General George E. Spencer. Spencer chose the name "Breckinridge" after John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, 14th Vice President of the United States, in the hopes of flattering the government and gaining a post office. Spencer succeeded in his plan and a post office was built in Breckinridge; it was the first post office between the Continental Divide and Salt Lake City, Utah.
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