How to Become an Electrician in Fitzgerald Georgia
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Fitzgerald GA. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many factors to consider. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. After they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole things that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician training 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 educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Fitzgerald GA
There are three general ways to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Fitzgerald GA. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are short explanations of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically provided by Georgia technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are provided by Georgia junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Georgia colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Fitzgerald GA can carry out a vast array of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be obtained in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only furnishes a solid academic 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 Fitzgerald GA
An alternative that you might have looked at is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning might be a more practical alternative for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus counterparts. Commuting costs from Fitzgerald GA are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online also. Each of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Fitzgerald GA area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Fitzgerald GA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important 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 utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Fitzgerald GA students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade 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 considering have referring partnerships with Fitzgerald GA area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Fitzgerald GA electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Fitzgerald home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Fitzgerald GA, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, 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 Fitzgerald GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Fitzgerald GA area.
The city of Fitzgerald is the county seat of Ben Hill County in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 9,053. It is the principal city of the Fitzgerald Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Ben Hill and Irwin counties.
Fitzgerald was developed in 1895 by Philander H. Fitzgerald, an Indianapolis newspaper editor and a former drummer boy in the Union Army, who founded it as a community for Civil War veterans – both from the Union and from the Confederacy. The majority of the first citizens (some 2700) were Union veterans. It was incorporated on December 2, 1896. The town is located less than 15 miles (24 km) from the site of the capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis on May 10, 1865.
Fitzgerald is one of the few truly planned cities in the United States. The city was laid out as a square, with intersecting streets dividing it into four wards. Each of the wards was divided into four blocks and each block had sixteen squares. The first two streets running North/South on the east side of the city are named after Confederate generals Lee and Johnston, whereas the first two on the west side were named after Union generals Grant and Sherman.
Choose the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Fitzgerald GA
Selecting the best electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Fitzgerald GA.
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