How to Become an Electrician in North Pole Alaska
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near North Pole AK. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many variables to examine. For example, many students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will address 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 training choices that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near North Pole AK
There are three general approaches to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near North Pole AK. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the three most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Alaska trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to finish and are offered by Alaska junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Alaska institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in North Pole AK can perform a wide range of tasks, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes 3 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) and also 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 academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in North Pole AK
An option that you might have considered is choosing an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Commuting expenses from North Pole AK are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the North Pole AK region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, 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 additional variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the North Pole AK program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help North Pole AK students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with North Pole AK area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local North Pole AK electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your North Pole residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher 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 a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to 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 reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near North Pole AK, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure 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 North Pole AK?
Following is a little bit of background information about the North Pole AK area.
North Pole, Alaska
North Pole is a small city in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska metropolitan statistical area. As of the 2016 United States Census, the city had a population of 2,232, up from 1,570 in 2000.
The name "North Pole" is often applied to the entire area covered by its zip code, 99705. This area stretches between Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base, and between the Chena River and the Tanana River, including subdivisions off of Badger Road, a loop road connecting the eastern edge of Fairbanks city limits with North Pole city limits, and in the nearby census-designated place of Moose Creek. Despite the name, the city is about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) south of Earth's geographic North Pole and 125 miles (200 km) south of the Arctic Circle.
The city is a summertime attraction for tourists visiting nearby Fairbanks and, due to its location on the Richardson Highway, those traveling to and from the Alaska Highway and Valdez. North Pole was home to two oil refineries, the town's major industry aside from tourism, but closed because of sulofane contamination in ground water. The larger refinery, operated by Flint Hills Resources, was a major source of jet fuel for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Tanker car traffic on the Alaska Railroad, entering and leaving the refinery, frequently bisects the city.
Find the Ideal Electrical Trade School near North Pole AK
Selecting the right electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in North Pole AK.
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