How to Become an Electrician in Fairhope Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Fairhope AL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of points to examine. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Fairhope AL
There are several approaches to get electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Fairhope AL. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. In many cases these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you intend to become certified. Following are short summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to finish and are offered by Alabama community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Alabama colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be performed prior to licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Fairhope AL can perform a multitude of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about four to five years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be earned in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes three levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician trade school that you choose not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Fairhope AL
An option that you may have considered is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs have become more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally 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 attended online, distance learning may be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Fairhope AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available on line as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Fairhope AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Fairhope AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 assist Fairhope AL grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Fairhope AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Fairhope AL electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Fairhope home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairhope AL, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Fairhope AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Fairhope AL area.
Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.
Fairhope was founded in November 1894 on the site of the former Alabama City as a radical Georgist "Single-Tax" colony by the Fairhope Industrial Association, a group of 28 followers of economist Henry George who had incorporated earlier that year in Des Moines, Iowa. Their corporate constitution explained their purpose in founding a new colony:
In forming their demonstration project, they pooled their funds to purchase land at "Stapleton's pasture" on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and then divided it into a number of long-term leaseholds. The corporation paid all governmental taxes from rents paid by the lessees, thus simulating a single-tax. The purpose of the single-tax colony was to eliminate disincentives for productive use of land and thereby retain the value of land for the community.
Choose the Right Electrical Tech School near Fairhope AL
Selecting the right electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Fairhope AL.
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