How to Become an Electrician in Stone Mountain Georgia
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Stone Mountain GA. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to consider. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located several that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the only things that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Stone Mountain GA
There are three general ways to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Stone Mountain GA. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to become 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 provided by Georgia vocational and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to finish and are provided by Georgia community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Georgia institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Stone Mountain GA can perform a multitude of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally about 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually assess electrical theory and general knowledge, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 3 levels of competency:
- 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Stone Mountain GA
An option that you might have considered is choosing an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though 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 obtain practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more convenient choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Driving costs from Stone Mountain GA are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Stone Mountain GA region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Stone Mountain GA school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Stone Mountain GA students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Stone Mountain GA area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools 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, talk to the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Stone Mountain GA electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Stone Mountain residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one 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 big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Stone Mountain GA, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Stone Mountain GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Stone Mountain GA area.
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,802 at the 2010 census. Stone Mountain is located in the eastern part of DeKalb County and is a suburb of Atlanta. It lies near to but does not include the geological formation Stone Mountain.
In 1822, the area that now makes up the city of Stone Mountain was made a part of the newly formed DeKalb County. A post office was created in 1834 on the old Augusta Road, and Andrew Johnson built a hotel along the road in 1836. At around the same time, Aaron Cloud built an observation tower at the summit of the mountain. Visitors to the mountain would travel to the area by rail and road, and then hike up the 1.1-mile (1.8 km) mountaintop trail to the top, where Cloud also had a restaurant and club.
By 1839, a general store was added, and a village was established under the name New Gibraltar. The name was officially changed to Stone Mountain by the Georgia legislature in 1847. The town is named for nearby Stone Mountain. During the Civil War, Stone Mountain village was destroyed by men under the command of General James B. McPherson on July 19, 1864.
Select the Ideal Electrician Vocational School near Stone Mountain GA
Selecting the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different 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 faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Stone Mountain GA.
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