How to Become an Electrician in Exeter California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Exeter CA. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many variables to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located some that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Exeter CA
There are three general ways to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Exeter CA. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by California technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to complete and are offered by California community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some California institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be performed prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Exeter CA can carry out a wide range of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be acquired in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Exeter CA
An option that you may have considered is choosing an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Commuting costs from Exeter CA are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be available online also. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Exeter CA region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Exeter CA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Exeter CA graduates secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Exeter CA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Exeter CA electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Exeter residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Exeter CA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Exeter CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Exeter CA area.
Exeter is located on State Highway 65, 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Highway 198 and 15 miles (24 km) east of Highway 99. Exeter is within a 3 to 4 hour drive of both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and 30 minutes from the entrance to Sequoia National Park.
The public school system in Exeter consists of: Exeter Union High School (9-12), the Wilson Middle School (6-8), Rocky Hill Elementary (K-5), Lincoln Elementary (K-5) and Kaweah High School (a continuation high school). The 1999-2000 enrollment was: grades K-8, 1,936 and grades 9-12, 1101 students.
Before the arrival of European settlers, Yokuts settled around an area in an oak forest two miles north of Exeter. The current town site was a plain that possessed elk, antelope, frogs, and deer. Rocky Hill, to the east of the city, offered shelter to native tribes when the plain flooded. Several caves on the hill contain petroglyphs, though some of the most important of these were destroyed by local vandals/looters and poorly managed and unsupervised steer.
Choose the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Exeter CA
Picking the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrician training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Exeter CA.
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