How to Become an Electrician in Gridley California
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Gridley CA. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found several that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when choosing an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Gridley CA
There are several options to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Gridley CA. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to become certified. Following are brief summaries of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by California technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by California junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some California colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed before licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Gridley CA can perform a multitude of services, including installing, replacing and testing 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 become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be earned in numerous specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 3 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 imperative that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Gridley CA
An alternative that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning can be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Gridley CA are also reduced and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. All of these advantages can make electrician online tech schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Gridley CA area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria 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 a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Gridley CA program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training program 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors 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 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 will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Gridley CA students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught together 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. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Gridley CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Gridley CA electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Gridley home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Gridley CA, check that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Gridley CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Gridley CA area.
Gridley is a city in Butte County, California, United States. The estimated 2017 population was 6,704. California State Route 99 runs through Gridley and Interstate 5 and California State Route 70 are both nearby.
The City of Gridley was named after its founder and earliest landowner, George W. Gridley, a prosperous sheep rancher. Mr. Gridley's home ranch consisted of some 960 acres (3.9 km2) located West of Gridley. He married Helen Orcutt in 1846 in Illinois, and she joined him in California in 1855. The Gridleys had ten children. Mr. Gridley died at the home ranch on 9 March 1881, Mrs. Gridley twenty years later, 1 August 1901. Descendants of the Gridley family remain in the area.
With the decline of mining in California, agriculture became a more stable and attractive business in the 1860s. The Central Pacific Railroad laid tracks from Oregon to Chico in 1865. The railroad completed its path to Gridley in 1870, contributing significantly to the formation of the new community. The principal products from the Gridley area were wool and sheep. Orchards, field crops, and cattle would soon follow. In 1896, the Libby, McNeil & Libby Cannery was established and became one of the largest peach canning operations in the world. The first home and store in Gridley were built by L.C. Stone in 1874. Stone served as postmaster, the train depot and express agent, as well as a merchant. Wells Fargo & Co. opened its office in 1871 and soon other businesses followed suit.
Find the Right Electrical Trade School near Gridley CA
Picking the right electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrician tech school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Gridley CA.
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