How to Become an Electrician in Claremont California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Claremont CA. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of points to consider. For instance, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss 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 Programs near Claremont CA
There are multiple options to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Claremont CA. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three options. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are short explanations of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by California trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by California community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some California institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically four years be completed before licensing. Therefore, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Claremont CA can perform a multitude of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually test electrical theory and general knowledge, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be obtained in many 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 select not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Claremont CA
A possibility that you may have looked at is selecting an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning can be a more accommodating option for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting costs from Claremont CA are also reduced and some of the study materials may be accessed online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Claremont CA area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Claremont CA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers 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 broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Claremont CA students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Claremont CA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Claremont CA electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Claremont 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 important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak 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 assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Claremont CA, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Claremont CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Claremont CA area.
Claremont (/ˈklɛərmɒnt/) is a city on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County, California, United States, 30.3 miles (48.8 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. It is in the Pomona Valley, at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and has a population, as of the 2015 United States Census estimate, of 36,283 people.
Claremont is known as the home of the Claremont Colleges and other educational institutions, and for its tree-lined streets with numerous historic buildings. In July 2007, it was rated by CNN/Money magazine as the fifth best place to live in the United States, and was the highest rated place in California on the list. It was also named the best suburb in the West by Sunset Magazine in 2016, which described it as a "small city that blends worldly sophistication with small-town appeal." In 2018, Niche rated Claremont as the 17th best place to live in the Los Angeles area out of 658 communities it evaluated, based on crime, cost of living, job opportunities, and local amenities. Due to its large number of trees and residents with doctoral degrees, as well as its proximity to the renowned Claremont Colleges, it is sometimes referred to as "The City of Trees and PhDs."
The city is primarily residential, with a significant portion of its commercial activity located in "The Village," a popular collection of street-front small stores, boutiques, art galleries, offices, and restaurants adjacent to and west of the Claremont Colleges. The Village was expanded in 2007, adding a controversial multi-use development that includes a cinema, a boutique hotel, retail space, offices, and a parking structure on the site of an old citrus packing plant west of Indian Hill Boulevard.
Pick the Right Electrician Trade School near Claremont CA
Selecting the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Claremont CA.
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