How to Become an Electrician in Long Beach California
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Long Beach CA. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to consider. For example, many prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole things that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing 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 educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Long Beach CA
There are multiple options to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Long Beach CA. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are short explanations of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by California vocational and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to complete and are offered by California community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some California institutions, but are less favored 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 performed before licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Long Beach CA can undertake a vast array of services, including testing, installing and replacing 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 the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally about four to five years of practical experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be earned in various specialties, 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Long Beach CA
An option that you might have looked at is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning might be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Long Beach CA are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Long Beach CA area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Long Beach CA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it 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 course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative 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 will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Long Beach CA students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Long Beach CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Long Beach CA electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Long Beach residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger 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 teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Long Beach CA, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Long Beach CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Long Beach CA area.
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city on the Pacific Coast of the United States, within the Greater Los Angeles area of Southern California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257. It is the 39th most populous city in the United States and the 7th most populous in California. Long Beach is the second-largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the third largest in Southern California behind Los Angeles and San Diego. Long Beach is a charter city.
The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest container port in the United States and is among the world's largest shipping ports. The city also maintains a progressively declining oil industry with minor wells located both directly beneath the city as well as offshore. Manufacturing sectors include those in aircraft, automotive parts, electronic equipment, audiovisual equipment, petrochemicals, precision metals and home furnishings.
Long Beach lies in the southeastern corner of Los Angeles County and borders Orange County. Downtown Long Beach is approximately 22 miles (35 km) south of downtown Los Angeles, though the two cities share an official border for several miles.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Vocational School near Long Beach CA
Selecting the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Long Beach CA.
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