How to Become an Electrician in Harrison Arkansas
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Harrison AR. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many points to consider. For instance, some students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have found several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the only things that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting an electrician 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 training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Harrison AR
There are multiple options to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Harrison AR. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Arkansas vocational and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are offered by Arkansas community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Arkansas institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Harrison AR can carry out a multitude of tasks, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically about four to five years of practical experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding 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 obtained in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases entails 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you select not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Harrison AR
An option that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning can be a more accommodating option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Travelling costs from Harrison AR are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Harrison AR region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have earned 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 relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Harrison AR school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may produce 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Harrison AR graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Harrison AR area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Harrison AR electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Harrison home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify 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 in the evening or on weekends near Harrison AR, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Harrison AR?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Harrison AR area.
Harrison is a city in Boone County, Arkansas, United States. It is the county seat of Boone County. It is named after General Marcus LaRue Harrison, a surveyor that laid out the city along Crooked Creek at Stifler Springs. According to 2012 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 13,163, up from 12,943 at the 2010 census. Harrison is the principal city of the Harrison Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Boone and Newton counties.
Race riots by white residents in 1905 and 1909 drove away blacks, establishing Harrison as a sundown town. Today it is known as a center of white supremacist activity, including the national headquarters of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the area, the first probably being cliff dwellers who lived in caves in the bluffs along the rivers. In later times, the Osage, a branch of the Sioux, was the main tribe in the Ozarks, and one of their larger villages is thought to have been to the east of the present site of Harrison. The Shawnee, Quapaw, and Caddo people were also familiar to the area.
Enroll in the Right Electrical Trade School near Harrison AR
Picking the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Harrison AR.
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