How to Become an Electrician in La Crescenta California
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near La Crescenta CA. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, many potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that must be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near La Crescenta CA
There are three general options to receive electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near La Crescenta CA. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are brief descriptions of the three most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally provided by California vocational and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are offered by California junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some California institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in La Crescenta CA can perform a multitude of functions, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be obtained in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases entails three levels of proficiency:
- 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 choose not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Training Classes in La Crescenta CA
A possibility that you may have looked at is choosing an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning might be a more convenient option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from La Crescenta CA are also lessened and some of the study materials can be accessed online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the La Crescenta CA area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the La Crescenta CA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help La Crescenta CA graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with La Crescenta CA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local La Crescenta CA electrical company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your La Crescenta residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable 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 couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near La Crescenta CA, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near La Crescenta CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the La Crescenta CA area.
La Crescenta-Montrose, California
La Crescenta-Montrose is an unincorporated area in Los Angeles County, California. The community bordered by Glendale to the south and west, La Cañada Flintridge to the east, and Angeles National Forest to the north. According to the United States Census Bureau, the La Crescenta-Montrose CDP measures about 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), and the population was 19,653 at the 2010 census, up from 18,532 in the 2000 census.
La Crescenta-Montrose is bordered on the north by the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest, on the east by La Cañada Flintridge, on the south by the Verdugo Mountains and central Glendale, and the northwest by the Sunland-Tujunga community of Los Angeles. The Foothill Freeway (I-210) runs through the southern portion of the area.
The 2010 United States Census reported that La Crescenta-Montrose had a population of 19,653. The population density was 5,717.8 people per square mile (2,207.7/km2). The racial makeup of La Crescenta-Montrose was 12,807 (65.2%) White (57.9% Non-Hispanic White), 142 (0.7%) African American, 70 (0.4%) Native American, 5,375 (27.3%) Asian, 12 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 533 (2.7%) from other races, and 714 (3.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,232 persons (11.4%).
Select the Ideal Electrician Technical School near La Crescenta CA
Picking the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed 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 necessity that any electrical tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in La Crescenta CA.
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