How to Become an Electrician in Brentwood California
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Brentwood CA. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of factors to consider. For example, many potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the only qualifications that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Brentwood CA
There are several options to receive electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Brentwood CA. You can enroll in 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 offered combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are short explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by California technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are offered by California community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain California colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Brentwood CA can undertake a wide range of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually assess electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in Brentwood CA
An alternative that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more accommodating option for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling expenses from Brentwood CA are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Brentwood CA area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Brentwood CA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some 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 looking at 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 signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Brentwood CA grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Brentwood CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area 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 working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Brentwood CA electrical contractor if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Brentwood residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Brentwood CA, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Brentwood CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Brentwood CA area.
Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010, an increase of 121 percent from 23,302 at the 2000 census.
Brentwood began as a community in the late 19th century, and still is known throughout the Bay Area for its agricultural products, primarily its cherries, corn and peaches. Due to urban sprawl many of the old farms and orchards have been replaced by suburban developments since 1990. Brentwood is increasingly residential, with the rate of population growth in the triple digits during the 1990s and 69% from 2000 through 2005.
Brentwood was originally laid out on land donated from property owned by John Marsh, an East Contra Costa County pioneer who acquired Rancho Los Meganos, the land grant that Brentwood is built upon, in 1837 from Jose Noriega. Marsh was one of the wealthiest men in California and was instrumental in its becoming independent from Mexico and part of the United States. His letters extolling the potential for agriculture in California were published in newspapers throughout the East. They resulted in the first wagon trains to California. Marsh encouraged this, and allowed new arrivals to stay on his ranch until they could get settled. Rancho Los Meganos became the terminus of the California Trail. Brentwood was named after Marsh's ancestral home, the town of Brentwood in the County of Essex, England.
Find the Right Electrician Technical School near Brentwood CA
Choosing the right electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician tech school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Brentwood CA.
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