How to Become an Electrician in Carrollton Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Carrollton AL. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many points to examine. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting an electrician training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Carrollton AL
There are several options to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Carrollton AL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Alabama vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Alabama institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Carrollton AL can undertake a multitude of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about four to five years of experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be earned in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician vocational school that you select not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Carrollton AL
A possibility that you may have looked at is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, distance learning might be a more convenient alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Driving expenses from Carrollton AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be available online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Carrollton AL region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option 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 added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Carrollton AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Carrollton AL students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Carrollton AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Carrollton AL electrical contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Carrollton residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Carrollton AL, check that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Carrollton AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Carrollton AL area.
The Pickens County Courthouse in the center of Carrollton was erected in 1877. The first courthouse in Carrollton was burned on April 5, 1865 by troops of Union General John T. Croxton. A second courthouse was destroyed by a fire on November 16, 1876.
Incorporated in 1831, the town was named after Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, the only Roman Catholic and longest-living signer of the Declaration of Independence. A post office has been in operation at Carrollton since 1831.
As was typical, the county jail was located at the courthouse. The courthouse square was used frequently as a site for public lynchings by whites of African Americans, part of numerous efforts to suppress them during a time of high tensions as whites struggled for dominance. It was part of a program of intimidation and racial terrorism, with these murders frequent in the decades on either side of the turn of the 20th century. Among the numerous African Americans lynched in Carrollton was John Gibson, hanged on August 28, 1907. Pickens County had the fifth highest total of lynchings in Alabama, according to Lynching in America (2015, 3rd edition), published by the Equal Justice Initiative.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Carrollton AL
Picking the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Carrollton AL.
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