How to Become an Electrician in Thomasville Alabama
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Thomasville AL. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Thomasville AL
There are several ways to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Thomasville AL. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Alabama vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are provided by Alabama junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Alabama colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Thomasville AL can carry out a multitude of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 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 imperative that the electrician vocational school that you select not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Thomasville AL
An alternative that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more convenient choice for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Travelling expenses from Thomasville AL are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be available online also. Each of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Thomasville AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Thomasville AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 also that it has the network of contacts to help Thomasville AL students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician technical programs are taught along 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 businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Thomasville AL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish 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 up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Thomasville AL electrical contracting company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Thomasville residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Thomasville AL, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check 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 Thomasville AL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Thomasville AL area.
Thomasville is a city in Clarke County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,209. Founded as a late 19th-century railroad town, it has transitioned over the course of more than a century into a 21st-century commercial hub. It is the childhood hometown of author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham.
Thomasville was founded in 1888 and incorporated on November 24 of that year. The former community of Choctaw Corner, dating back to the antebellum period, was a settlement west of what would become Thomasville, but when the merchants there learned that a railroad was going to bypass their town to the east, they decided to move their stores to be near the railroad. The former community is now inside the city limits. The tracks between Mobile and Selma were completed the same year that Thomasville began. First referred to as "Choctaw", the town was named after railroad financier and former Union Civil War general, Samuel Thomas, after he donated $500 for the construction of Thomasville's first school. The town had expanded by the end of the 19th century with numerous stores, several hotels and boarding houses, and a depot station. In 1899, what is now downtown was destroyed by a fire that burned several blocks of the wood frame buildings. Thomasville quickly rebuilt, this time in brick, and was once again flourishing by the start of World War I.
Over the next century, Thomasville continued to grow and expand. Over the years, many businesses came and others left. These included garment factories, sawmills, and cotton gins. The railroad discontinued its use of the town's depot by the 1950s, but that time also saw the opening of Thomasville's FPS-35 radar base, part of the Air Defense Command's Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, bringing in servicemen and their families. The prototype for the FPS-35 radar was developed at the Thomasville Aircraft Control and Warning Station. The 1950s also saw the planting of roses along Highway 43, the main highway through Thomasville, earning it the nickname of The City of Roses. The 1960s and 1970s saw the opening of numerous paper mills in the area, an industry that continues to be important to the economy of Thomasville today. This time also saw businesses begin to relocate from downtown to the main highway. The Thomasville Historic District was designated in 1999 by the National Register of Historic Places.
Select the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Thomasville AL
Selecting the best electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician tech school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Thomasville AL.
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