How to Become an Electrician in Ketchikan Alaska
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Ketchikan AK. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, some students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only things that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs near Ketchikan AK
There are multiple approaches to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Ketchikan AK. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Alaska vocational and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to finish and are provided by Alaska community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Alaska colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Ketchikan AK can undertake a multitude of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly about four to five years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be acquired in many specializations, including 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 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 vocational school that you select not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Ketchikan AK
An alternative that you might have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning may be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Travelling expenses from Ketchikan AK are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available on line as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Ketchikan AK region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Ketchikan AK program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Ketchikan AK graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Ketchikan AK area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Ketchikan AK electrical contracting company if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Ketchikan home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications 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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Ketchikan AK, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out 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 Ketchikan AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Ketchikan AK area.
Ketchikan (/ˈkɛtʃɪkæn/ KETCH-ih-kan;Tlingit: Kichx̱áan) is a city in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States, the southeasternmost city in Alaska. With a population at the 2010 census of 8,050, it is the fifth-most populous city in the state, and tenth-most populous community when census-designated places are included. The surrounding borough, encompassing suburbs both north and south of the city along the Tongass Highway (most of which are commonly regarded as a part of Ketchikan, albeit not a part of the city itself), plus small rural settlements accessible mostly by water, registered a population of 13,477 in that same census. Estimates put the 2014 population at 13,787 people. Incorporated on August 25, 1900, Ketchikan is the earliest extant incorporated city in Alaska, because consolidation or unification elsewhere in Alaska resulted in dissolution of those communities' city governments. Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, so named in 1793 by Captain George Vancouver.
Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town, emptying into the Tongass Narrows a short distance southeast of its downtown. "Ketchikan" comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear. It may mean "the river belonging to Kitschk"; other accounts claim it means "Thundering Wings of an Eagle". In modern Tlingit this name is rendered as Kichx̱áan. Ketchikan Creek served as a summer fish camp for Tlingit natives for untold years before the town was established by Mike Martin in 1885. The area near the mouth of Ketchikan Creek later earned Ketchikan a measure of infamy during the first half of the 20th century for a red-light district known as Creek Street, with brothels aligned on either side of the creek. According to the U.S. Postal Service, one of Ketchikan's two zip codes, 99950, is the highest-numbered in the United States.
Ketchikan's economy is based upon government services, tourism and commercial fishing. Civic boosters have dubbed the community the "Salmon Capital of the World." The Misty Fiords National Monument is one of the area's major attractions, and the Tongass National Forest has long been headquartered in Ketchikan, mostly in the city's historic Federal Building. For most of the latter half of the 20th century, a large portion of Ketchikan's economy and life centered on the Ketchikan Pulp Company pulp mill in nearby Ward Cove. The mill closed in 1997 in the wake of the passage of the Tongass Timber Reform Act of 1990, which reduced timber harvest targets in the national forest.
Pick the Right Electrician Technical School near Ketchikan AK
Selecting the ideal electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical tech school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Ketchikan AK.
Other Cool Cities in Alaska