How to Become an Electrician in Los Angeles California
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Los Angeles CA. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of points to consider. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final judgment when choosing an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Los Angeles CA
There are three general approaches to obtain electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Los Angeles CA. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. In many cases these programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short descriptions of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by California trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who would like to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain California institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Los Angeles CA can carry out a wide range of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be obtained in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Los Angeles CA
An option that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools have become more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning might be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Commuting costs from Los Angeles CA are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed online also. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Los Angeles CA area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Los Angeles CA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Los Angeles CA graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational 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 comparing have working partnerships with Los Angeles CA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Los Angeles CA electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Los Angeles home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some 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 schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Los Angeles CA, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be 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 because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Los Angeles CA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Los Angeles CA area.
Los Angeles (US: /lɔːs ˈændʒələs/ ( listen);[a]Spanish for "The Angels"; Spanish: Los Ángeles; Spanish: [los ˈaŋxeles]; officially the City of Los Angeles, known colloquially by its initials L.A.) is the second-most populous city in the United States, after New York City. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the largest and most populous city in the state of California and the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California.
Los Angeles is located in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet (3,000 m) on the others. The city proper, which covers about 469 square miles (1,210 km2), is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area; with a population of 13.1 million residents it is the second largest in the United States after that of New York City. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area, also the second most populous in the nation with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
Historically home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California. The city was officially founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood. The discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California, later assured the city's continued rapid growth.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Los Angeles CA
Choosing the right electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Los Angeles CA.
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