How to Become an Electrician in Tanacross Alaska
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Tanacross AK. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many points to evaluate. For example, some students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that need to be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Tanacross AK
There are three general ways to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Tanacross AK. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Alaska vocational and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to finish and are provided by Alaska community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Alaska colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed before licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Tanacross AK can carry out a vast array of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be acquired in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you choose not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Tanacross AK
A possibility that you may have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Driving expenses from Tanacross AK are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be available online as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Tanacross AK area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Tanacross AK program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Tanacross AK students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Tanacross AK area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Tanacross AK electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Tanacross residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tanacross AK, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Tanacross AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Tanacross AK area.
Tanacross (Taats’altęy in Tanacross Athabascan) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 136, down from 140 in 2000. It hosts an air tanker base.
Tanacross, initially founded as a telegraph station called Tanana Crossing (also known as St. Timothy's). The name was shortened to Tanacross before 1940. The village was initially located on the north bank of the Tanana River. An airstrip was built on the south bank during the mid-1930s and upgraded for military use during World War II in 1941-42. Thousands of troops deployed through Tanacross during the period. The airfield was closed after the war. In 1972, the town itself relocated south across the river due to water contamination. In 1979, the old village burned due to an uncontrolled grass fire.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 81.2 square miles (210 km2), of which, 80.0 square miles (207 km2) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it (1.38%) is water.
Pick the Right Electrical Technical School near Tanacross AK
Picking the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Tanacross AK.
Other Cool Cities in Alaska