How to Become an Electrician in Saraland Alabama
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Saraland AL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to examine. For instance, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located several that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final decision when selecting an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Saraland AL
There are three general options to receive electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Saraland AL. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Alabama technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to finish and are provided by Alabama community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Alabama institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Saraland AL can carry out a vast array of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around four to five years of practical experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding 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 vary by state and may be earned in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 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 crucial that the electrician tech school that you choose not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Saraland AL
An alternative that you may have considered is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs have become more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from Saraland AL are also reduced and some of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Saraland AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. 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 taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Saraland AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train 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 may result in 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 additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Saraland AL graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction 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 electrician contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Saraland AL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Saraland AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Saraland residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Saraland AL, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Saraland AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Saraland AL area.
Saraland is a city in Mobile County, Alabama, United States, and a suburb of Mobile. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 13,405. It is a part of the Mobile metropolitan area. Saraland is the third largest city in Mobile County.
The land area that was to become the present-day Saraland, was included in a Spanish land grant to Don Diego Alvarez. Hence, descendants of Alvarez were the ones to give the community its first name: Alvarez Station. Later land squatters moved into the area and were able, legally, in 1800 to begin purchasing property. In 1807, a land office was opened in St. Stephens to handle all land transactions. Some of the pioneer families who seized the opportunity to buy up sections were named Alvarez, Rice, Hartley, Moore, LaCoste, Williams, Tool and Cleveland. Ultimately, Alvarez Station was called Cleveland Station. The present name of the city is reported to have been given by C.J. DeWitt, a retired minister editor who moved south in 1890 for health reasons. He opened the first post office on the Southern Railroad in 1895. The community is purported to be the namesake of his beloved wife, Sara.
Saraland was sparsely populated during the first part of the 20th century, until an industrial and population boom occurred in neighboring Mobile. Northward expansion of Mobile in the 1940s and 50s brought about the incorporation of Saraland in 1957. At the time of incorporation, the city reported only 125 residents. By the 1960 U.S. Census, annexations had swelled the population to 4,595. In 1980, census figures cited 9,844 Saraland residents. Current census records report that as of 2000, Saraland's population has grown to 12,288.
Pick the Right Electrician Tech School near Saraland AL
Picking the right electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum 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 have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Saraland AL.
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