How to Become an Electrician in Geneva Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Geneva AL. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only things that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Geneva AL
There are several ways to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Geneva AL. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are brief summaries of the three most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Alabama vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are provided by Alabama community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Alabama colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Geneva AL can perform a vast array of services, 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 required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically around four to five years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Geneva AL
An option that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning can be a more convenient choice for students that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting expenses from Geneva AL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Geneva AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Geneva AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also indicate 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 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 validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Geneva AL grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Geneva AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Geneva AL electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Geneva home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some 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 schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Geneva AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, 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 Geneva AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Geneva AL area.
Geneva is a city in and the county seat of Geneva County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1875. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. Since 1940, it has been the largest city of Geneva County, and had a population of 4,452 as of the 2010 census.
In late December 1862, the stern-wheel steamship Bloomer was in port on the Choctawhatchee River in Geneva. She was captured by a group of Union troops from the 91st New York Volunteers led by Lieutenant James H. Stewart. The Bloomer was then taken to Pensacola, Florida.
Geneva is located south of the center of Geneva County at 31°2′17″N 85°52′36″W / 31.03806°N 85.87667°W / 31.03806; -85.87667 (31.038181, -85.876677), at the confluence of the Pea River with the Choctawhatchee River. Alabama State Route 52 passes through the city north of downtown, leading northeast 11 miles (18 km) to Hartford and northwest 12 miles (19 km) to Samson. Dothan is 34 miles (55 km) to the northeast via Route 52. Alabama State Route 27 passes through the center of Geneva, leading north 22 miles (35 km) to Enterprise and southwest 5 miles (8 km) to the Florida border.
Select the Right Electrician Technical School near Geneva AL
Selecting the best electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Geneva AL.
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