How to Become an Electrician in Calhoun Georgia
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Calhoun GA. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many factors to consider. For instance, many students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that should be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Calhoun GA
There are several options to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Calhoun GA. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Georgia trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are geared towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to finish and are offered by Georgia community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Georgia colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Calhoun GA can undertake a wide range of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around four to five years of practical experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be earned in many specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you choose not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Calhoun GA
A possibility that you may have considered is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning might be a more convenient option for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Driving expenses from Calhoun GA are also minimized and some of the study materials can be available online also. All of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Calhoun GA area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before selecting an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Calhoun GA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified 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 broader directory of alumni, which may produce 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 additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Calhoun GA students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Calhoun GA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Calhoun GA electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Calhoun residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can 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 challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Calhoun GA, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Calhoun GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Calhoun GA area.
Calhoun was a part of the Cherokee Nation (including New Echota, capital of the Cherokee Nation) until December 29, 1835. Cherokee leaders such as The Ridge and William Hicks had developed numerous productive farms in the fertile Oothcaloga Valley. When the Cherokee refused to give up the remainder of their lands under the Indian Removal Act, after years of land cessions to the United States for white settlers in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, President Andrew Jackson sent US troops to the northern region of Georgia to force most of the tribe to move to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River, most notably present-day Oklahoma. (See more information on Trail of Tears.)
In December 1827, Georgia had already claimed the Cherokee lands that became Gordon County and other counties. A small town called "Dawsonville" was created and founded in the Gordon County, named for the owner of an early general store. Dawsonville was later renamed "Calhoun" to honor U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun, following his death in 1850.
Gordon County's inferior court called an election for the selection of the county seat, offering voters a choice between a site on the Western & Atlantic Railroad (near Adairsville) or a site more centrally located within the county. Voters chose a site along the railroad, so the inferior court designated Calhoun as county seat in 1851. The legislature incorporated Calhoun in an act approved on January 12, 1852.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Tech School near Calhoun GA
Picking the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select 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 Calhoun GA.
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