How to Become an Electrician in Lewiston California
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Lewiston CA. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of variables to consider. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found some that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician school. We will discuss 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 instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Lewiston CA
There are several approaches to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Lewiston CA. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by California vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards those who would like to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to finish and are provided by California junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain California colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. Because of that, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Lewiston CA can perform a wide range of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about four to five years of experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be acquired in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually includes 3 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 imperative that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Lewiston CA
An alternative that you might have considered is choosing an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more practical choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Driving expenses from Lewiston CA are also reduced and some of the study materials can be available on line also. All of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Lewiston CA region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Lewiston CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 help Lewiston CA graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Lewiston CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Lewiston CA electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lewiston home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction 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 observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience 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 fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lewiston CA, check that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Lewiston CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lewiston CA area.
This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Lewiston has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
A post office called Lewiston has been in operation since 1854. The community was named after Benjamin Franklin Lewis, adopted son of town founder, Tom Palmer, who, with Lewis, ran a gold mining operation on the Trinity River in the early days of the Gold Rush. Lewiston's Online Pioneer Museum: www.oldlewistonschoolhouse.org
The 2010 United States Census reported that Lewiston had a population of 1,193. The population density was 59.6 people per square mile (23.0/km²). The racial makeup of Lewiston was 1,074 (90.0%) White, 8 (0.7%) African American, 37 (3.1%) Native American, 6 (0.5%) Asian, 5 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 21 (1.8%) from other races, and 42 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 78 persons (6.5%).
Find the Right Electrical Technical School near Lewiston CA
Selecting the best electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique 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 students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Lewiston CA.
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