How to Become an Electrician in Phenix City Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Phenix City AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For example, many students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that should be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Phenix City AL
There are several approaches to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Phenix City AL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you want to become certified. Bellow are short explanations of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to complete and are provided by Alabama community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Alabama colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Phenix City AL can undertake a wide range of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about four to five years of experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, along with 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 vary by state and can be obtained in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Phenix City AL
A possibility that you might have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Travelling costs from Phenix City AL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Phenix City AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Phenix City AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Phenix City AL graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Phenix City AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Phenix City AL electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Phenix City home. Remember that if you decide to attend 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 desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Phenix City AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Phenix City AL area.
Phenix City, Alabama
Phenix City lies immediately west across the Chattahoochee River from much larger Columbus, Georgia. Sometimes called Hub City, Most of Phenix City is included in the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area, but a section is located in Lee County, and is therefore in the Auburn, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The entire city is part of the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika Combined Statistical Area.
Phenix City is located at 32°28′22″N 85°1′12″W / 32.47278°N 85.02000°W / 32.47278; -85.02000 (32.472822, -85.020121). It is the easternmost settlement in the state of Alabama as well as the Central Time Zone, but it and some other nearby areas unofficially observe Eastern Time, as these areas are part of the metropolitan area of the considerably larger city of Columbus, Georgia, which is in the Eastern Time Zone.
The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Phenix City has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Pick the Right Electrician Trade School near Phenix City AL
Picking the ideal electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician tech school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs 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 training program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Phenix City AL.
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