How to Become an Electrician in Fontana California
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Fontana CA. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, some potential students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your final decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will talk about 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 training choices that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Fontana CA
There are three general approaches to receive electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Fontana CA. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are brief explanations of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by California vocational and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who would like to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to finish and are provided by California community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain California institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, many students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Fontana CA can perform a wide range of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be acquired in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Fontana CA
An alternative that you may have considered is choosing an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning may be a more accommodating option for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Commuting expenses from Fontana CA are also minimized and some of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Fontana CA area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Fontana CA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified 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 list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Fontana CA graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Fontana CA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Fontana CA electrical company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Fontana residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger 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 students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Fontana CA, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out 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 Fontana CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Fontana CA area.
Fontana (/fɒnˈtænə/) is a city of 207,460 residents in San Bernardino County, California. Founded by Azariel Blanchard Miller in 1913, it remained essentially rural until World War II, when entrepreneur Henry J. Kaiser built a large steel mill in the area. It is now a regional hub of the trucking industry, with Interstate 10 and State Route 210 transecting the city from east to west, and Interstate 15 passing diagonally through its northwestern quadrant.
It is home to the largest of the San Bernardino County system libraries, a renovated historic theater, a municipal park, and the Auto Club Speedway on the site of the Kaiser Steel Mill. Fontana also hosts the Fontana Days Half Marathon and 5K run. This race is the fastest half-marathon course in the world.
The United States Census Bureau estimated Fontana's 2016 population at 207,460, making it the second most populous city in San Bernardino County and the 19th largest in the state. The name fontana is Italian for fountain or water source, being in close proximity to the Santa Ana River to the east.
Select the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Fontana CA
Selecting the ideal electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Fontana CA.
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