How to Become an Electrician in Decatur Georgia
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Decatur GA. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many points to consider. For example, many students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only qualifications that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Decatur GA
There are three general ways to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Decatur GA. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states in order to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Georgia trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to finish and are provided by Georgia community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Georgia institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Decatur GA can perform a multitude of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically about four to five years of experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be earned in several specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases 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 imperative that the electrician trade school that you select not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Decatur GA
A possibility that you might have contemplated is selecting an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more practical option for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Driving expenses from Decatur GA are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Since there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Decatur GA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Decatur GA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Decatur GA graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Decatur GA area electricians or electrical contractors. 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 local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Decatur GA electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Decatur residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers 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 programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Decatur GA, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Decatur GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Decatur GA area.
Decatur is a city in, and the county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia, United States and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. With a population of 20,148 in the 2013 census, the municipality is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple zip codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear the Decatur name. The city is served by three MARTA rail stations. The city is located approximately 5 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta and shares its western border with Atlanta.
Decatur was established at the intersection of two Native American trails: the Sandtown, which led east from the Chattahoochee River at Utoy Creek, and the Shallowford, which follows today's Clairmont Road, and eventually crossed near Roswell. It was named for United States Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur.
During the American Civil War, Decatur became a strategic site in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. In July 1864, Major-General James McPherson occupied the town to cut off the Confederates' supply line from Augusta. On July 22, during the Battle of Atlanta, Confederate cavalry under Major-General Joseph Wheeler attacked McPherson's supply wagons and the Union troops left to defend the wagons. A historical marker at the old courthouse marks the site of this skirmish.
Find the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Decatur GA
Picking the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must 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 needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Decatur GA.
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