How to Become an Electrician in Montevallo Alabama
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Montevallo AL. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many variables to examine. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the sole things that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician school. We will address 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 instructional options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Montevallo AL
There are three general ways to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Montevallo AL. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are brief explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by Alabama vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Alabama colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 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 Montevallo AL can perform a vast array of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be acquired in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Schools Online in Montevallo AL
An option that you might have looked at is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning might be a more accommodating alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Driving expenses from Montevallo AL are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Montevallo AL region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Montevallo 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 receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Montevallo AL graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Montevallo AL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already 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 Montevallo AL electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Montevallo home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Montevallo AL, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Montevallo AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Montevallo AL area.
Montevallo is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. A college town, it is the home of the University of Montevallo, a public liberal arts university with approximately 3,000 students. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city of Montevallo is 6,323. Dr. Hollie Campbell Cost, a professor in the College of Education at the University of Montevallo, serves as Mayor.
Montevallo is located at 33°6′18″N 86°51′46″W / 33.10500°N 86.86278°W / 33.10500; -86.86278 (33.1049, -86.8628). A plaque on Reynolds Cemetery Road, just off Alabama State Route 25, in the eastern corner of the town, marks the geographic center of the state of Alabama. Middle Street, formerly known as Main Street, had its name changed in 1899 for this reason, upon the completion of a new state survey.
The area where Montevallo is now was once controlled by the Creek Indians. After being acquired in 1814 Jesse Wilson claimed a small hill on the northern bank of the Shoal Creek and created a homestead there, making it the oldest settlement in Shelby County. Wilson's friends and family followed afterwards and also settled in the area, and a settlement known as Wilson's Hill developed on the site. The settlement's location at almost the exact center of Alabama meant it was considered one of the potential sites for the University of Alabama. In an attempt to encourage the university to choose the site the settlement changed its name to Montevallo, which is Italian for the hill in the valley.
Find the Right Electrician Technical School near Montevallo AL
Picking the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Montevallo AL.
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