How to Become an Electrician in El Dorado Hills California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near El Dorado Hills CA. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to consider. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located some that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near El Dorado Hills CA
There are three general options to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near El Dorado Hills CA. You may select a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by California vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards those who want to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are offered by California community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some California colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in El Dorado Hills CA can perform a wide range of tasks, 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 most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be earned in many specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves three levels of competency:
- 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a strong 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 Programs Online in El Dorado Hills CA
An option that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more practical choice for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Travelling expenses from El Dorado Hills CA are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the El Dorado Hills CA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. 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 a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the El Dorado Hills CA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct 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 directory of alumni, which can mean 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist El Dorado Hills CA grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with El Dorado Hills CA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local El Dorado Hills CA electrical company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your El Dorado Hills home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher 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 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 students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near El Dorado Hills CA, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near El Dorado Hills CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the El Dorado Hills CA area.
El Dorado Hills, California
El Dorado Hills (EDH) is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) in El Dorado County, California, 22 miles (35 km) east of the state capital of Sacramento. The population was 42,108 at the 2010 census, up from 18,016 at the 2000 census. This growth is a combination of population increase within the 2000 CDP boundaries and expansion of the boundaries. The area of EDH was expanded from 17.9 square miles (46 km2) in 2000 to 48.606 square miles (125.89 km2) in 2010.
El Dorado Hills residents and businesses are most closely affiliated with El Dorado County, a generally rural area. El Dorado County is part of the Sacramento Metropolitan Area because it is socially and economically integrated with the much larger Sacramento County and especially the city of Folsom. El Dorado Hills is recognized nationally for its high median household income, ranking 77th in CNN Money Magazine's best places to live in 2007, with the median household income for 2007 over $115,000.
El Dorado Hills lies about 18.6 miles from the 1848 gold find site in Coloma, the impetus for the California Gold Rush. Gold was washed down the South Fork of the American River, into areas now in El Dorado Hills and Folsom, but farming and ranching supplanted the Gold Rush. Portions of two Pony Express routes in this area from 1860-1861 remain as modern El Dorado Hills roads. El Dorado Hills includes the longest surviving section of the Lincoln Highway, the first U.S. transcontinental highway. This section, part of the Pioneer Branch, passes through historic Clarksville and is the predecessor of the modern US 50 route.
Choose the Right Electrical Technical School near El Dorado Hills CA
Selecting the right electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect 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 proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in El Dorado Hills CA.
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