How to Become an Electrician in Bay Minette Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Bay Minette AL. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of points to examine. For instance, some students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Bay Minette AL
There are multiple options to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Bay Minette AL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Alabama vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to complete and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Alabama institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Bay Minette AL can undertake a multitude of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be obtained in various specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 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 crucial that the electrician trade school that you pick not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Bay Minette AL
An option that you may have considered is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning can be a more convenient option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Bay Minette AL are also lessened and some of the study materials may be available on line also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Bay Minette AL region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about 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 even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Bay Minette AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Bay Minette AL graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Bay Minette AL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment 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 technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Bay Minette AL electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Bay Minette home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bay Minette AL, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Bay Minette AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Bay Minette AL area.
Bay Minette, Alabama
In the first days of Baldwin County, the town of McIntosh Bluff (now in Mobile County, west of Baldwin County) on the Tombigbee River was the county seat. After being transferred to the town of Blakeley in 1810, the county seat was later moved to the city of Daphne in 1868. In 1900, by an act of the legislature of Alabama, the county seat was authorized for relocation to the city of Bay Minette; however, the city of Daphne resisted relocation. The citizens of Bay Minette moved the county records from Daphne in the middle of the night on October 11–12, 1901 and delivered them to the city of Bay Minette - where the Baldwin County seat remains to this day. A mural for the new post office built in 1937 was commissioned by the WPA and painted by Hilton Leech of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to commemorate this event.
In September 2011, the town attempted to enact a program called "Operation Restore Our Community". It would have allowed those convicted of a misdemeanor to substitute imprisonment with mandatory church attendance for one year. However, this program was challenged due to violating separation of church and state, and the program's start was delayed for judicial review. It appears to have been scrapped.
Bay Minette is located near the center of Baldwin County in southern Alabama at 30°53′0″N 87°46′38″W / 30.88333°N 87.77722°W / 30.88333; -87.77722 (30.883446, -87.777183). It is sited on high ground 5 miles (8 km) east of the Mobile River/Tensaw River valley and 6 miles (10 km) west of the Florida border formed by the Perdido River. U.S. Route 31 passes through the center of the city, leading south to Spanish Fort and northeast to Atmore. Interstate 65 passes about 5 miles (8 km) north of the city, with access from exit 34 (State Route 59) and exit 37 (State Route 287).
Choose the Right Electrician Technical School near Bay Minette AL
Selecting the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician tech school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Bay Minette AL.
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