How to Become an Electrician in Emeryville California
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Emeryville CA. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of points to consider. For instance, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors 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 contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Emeryville CA
There are several approaches to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Emeryville CA. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other 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 wish to become certified. Following are brief explanations of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by California trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to complete and are provided by California community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some California institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Emeryville CA can perform a vast array of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding 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 available differ by state and can be obtained in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Emeryville CA
An option that you might have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Emeryville CA are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Emeryville CA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Emeryville CA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Emeryville CA students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Emeryville CA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Emeryville CA electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Emeryville home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one 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 large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Emeryville CA, check that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Emeryville CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Emeryville CA area.
Emeryville is a small city located in northwest Alameda County, California, in the United States. It is located in a corridor between the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, extending to the shore of San Francisco Bay. Its proximity to San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, the University of California, Berkeley, and Silicon Valley has been a catalyst for recent economic growth.
It is the home to Pixar Animation Studios, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Jamba Juice, The Center for Investigative Reporting and Clif Bar. In addition, several well known tech and software companies have made their home in Emeryville: LeapFrog, Sendmail, MobiTV, Novartis (formerly Chiron before April 2006), Wargaming America, and BigFix (now IBM). The population was 10,080 as of 2010, although it swells considerably on weekdays due to the city's position as a regional employment center.
Before the colonization of the area by Spain in 1776, this area was the site of extensive Ohlone Native American settlements. Mudflats rich with clams and rocky areas with oysters, plus fishing, hunting, and acorns from the local oak trees provided a rich and easily exploited food source for the residents, who disposed of their clam and oyster shells in a single place, over time creating a huge mound, the Emeryville Shellmound.
Pick the Right Electrician Technical School near Emeryville CA
Picking the right electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Emeryville CA.
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