How to Become an Electrician in Auburn Alabama
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Auburn AL. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many variables to evaluate. For instance, some students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located a few that are within driving range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Auburn AL
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Auburn AL. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable 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 program, which are required by most states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Alabama institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be performed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Auburn AL can carry out 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 mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about 4 to 5 years of experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually assess general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be acquired 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 organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Auburn AL
A possibility that you might have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning may be a more practical choice for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Auburn AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Auburn AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Auburn AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train 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 may mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 also that it has the network of contacts to assist Auburn AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Auburn AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local 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 on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Auburn AL electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Auburn residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Auburn AL, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Auburn AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Auburn AL area.
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2016 population of 63,118. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 158,991, along with the Columbus, GA-AL MSA and Tuskegee, Alabama, comprises the greater Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL CSA, a region home to 501,649 residents.
Auburn is a historic college town and is the home of Auburn University. It is Alabama's fastest-growing metropolitan area and the nineteenth fastest-growing metro area in the United States since 1990. U.S. News ranked Auburn among its top ten list of best places to live in the United States for the year 2009. The city's unofficial nickname is “The Loveliest Village On The Plains,” taken from a line in the poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith: “Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain...”
Inhabited in antiquity by the Creek, the land on which Auburn sits was opened to settlement in 1832 with the Treaty of Cusseta. The first settlers arrived in the winter of 1836 from Harris County, Georgia. These settlers, led by Judge John J. Harper, intended to build a town that would be the religious and educational center for the area.
Select the Right Electrician Technical School near Auburn AL
Selecting the best electrician trade school will probably 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 evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Auburn AL.
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