How to Become an Electrician in Lithonia Georgia
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Lithonia GA. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many factors to examine. For example, many students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that need to 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 trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Lithonia GA
There are three general ways to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Lithonia GA. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are brief explanations of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Georgia technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards those who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to finish and are provided by Georgia junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Georgia institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Lithonia GA can perform a vast array of tasks, including 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 required to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about four to five years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be acquired in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 3 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Lithonia GA
An option that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, distance learning might be a more convenient alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Commuting expenses from Lithonia GA are also reduced and some of the study materials can be available online also. All of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Lithonia GA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. 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 an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Lithonia GA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in 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 industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Lithonia GA students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught along 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 contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Lithonia GA 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 build relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Lithonia GA electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Lithonia home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger 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 students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some 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 assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lithonia GA, check that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Lithonia GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lithonia GA area.
"Lithonia" means "city/town of stone". Lithonia is in the heart of the Georgian granite-quarrying and viewing region, hence the name of the town, from the Greek λίθος lithos, for stone. The huge nearby granite dome, Stone Mountain, is composed largely of a rock called Lithonia gneiss, a form of granite. The area has a history of rock quarries. The mines were served by the Georgia Railroad and Atlanta, Stone Mountain & Lithonia Railway. Some of the rock quarries have been converted to parkland and the rail lines to rail-trail.
Lithonia is located in southeastern DeKalb County at 33°42′46″N 84°6′21″W / 33.71278°N 84.10583°W / 33.71278; -84.10583 (33.712658, -84.105897).Interstate 20 passes just south of the community, with access from Exits 74 and 75. Lithonia is 18 miles (29 km) east of the center of Atlanta.
In 1805, Lithonia began as a small crossroads settlement of farmers. The town grew with the coming of the Atlanta Augusta Railroad in 1845, which allowed the granite quarrying industry in the area to flourish.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Trade School near Lithonia GA
Selecting the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Lithonia GA.
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