How to Become an Electrician in Atascadero California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Atascadero CA. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that should be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Atascadero CA
There are multiple options to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Atascadero CA. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are brief summaries of the three most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by California trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take 2 years to complete and are provided by California community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some California institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed before licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Atascadero CA can undertake a multitude of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around four to five years of practical experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly test electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be obtained in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes three 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you select not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Atascadero CA
An alternative that you may have looked at is selecting an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient choice for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Atascadero CA are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. Each of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Atascadero CA 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 online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Atascadero CA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Atascadero CA grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Atascadero CA area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Atascadero CA electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Atascadero home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction 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 big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Atascadero CA, 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 offers 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 Atascadero CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Atascadero CA area.
Atascadero is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, about equidistant from Los Angeles and San Francisco on U.S. Route 101. Atascadero is part of the San Luis Obispo - Atascadero - Paso Robles metropolitan area. Atascadero is farther inland than most other cities in the county, and as a result, usually experiences warmer, drier summers, and cooler winters than other nearby cities such as San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach. The main freeway through town is the US 101. The nearby State Routes 41 and 46 provide access to the Pacific Coast and the California Central Valley.
Atascadero is a Spanish word loosely translated as bog, from the verb "atascar" which means to become stuck or hindered. Also, in the Chumash language, Atascadero translates into a place of much water.
The area was originally home to the Salinan Indians. In the half century between 1769 and 1823 the Spanish Franciscans established 21 missions along the California coast, including the nearby Mission San Miguel Arcángel, and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, and California became a Mexican province. In 1833, the Mexican government secularized the mission lands. Mexican Governor Juan Alvarado granted Rancho Atascadero to Trifon Garcia in 1842, and Pio Pico granted Pedro Estrada Rancho Asuncion in 1845. Patrick Washington Murphy held ownership of 61,000 acres (25,000 ha) at one time.
Find the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Atascadero CA
Picking the best electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best 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 attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Atascadero CA.
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