How to Become an Electrician in Thomson Georgia
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Thomson GA. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of factors to examine. For example, many students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Thomson GA
There are three general options to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Thomson GA. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three options. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief explanations of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Georgia trade and technical schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to finish and are offered by Georgia community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Georgia colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Thomson GA can carry out a multitude of duties, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around four to five years of practical experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means 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 several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases includes 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only furnishes a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Thomson GA
A possibility that you might have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become more prevalent as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more accommodating alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Commuting costs from Thomson GA are also reduced and some of the study materials may be available on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Thomson GA area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Thomson GA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Thomson GA graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with Thomson GA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Thomson GA electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Thomson home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Thomson GA, check that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be 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 due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Thomson GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Thomson GA area.
Thomson (originally called Slashes) is a city in McDuffie County, Georgia, United States. The population was 6,778 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of McDuffie County. Thomson's nickname is "The Camellia City of the South", in honor of the thousands of camellia plants throughout the city. Thomson was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson and incorporated February 15, 1854 as a town and in 1870 as a city. It is part of the Augusta – Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Thomson, originally called Slashes, was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson. In 1870, Thomson was designated seat of the newly formed McDuffie County. It was incorporated as a town in 1854 and as a city in 1870.
The Old Rock House, built in 1785, is said to be one of Georgia's oldest documented houses with its original design intact. Built by Thomas Ansley, the home is said to be the home of ancestors of former president Jimmy Carter.
Find the Right Electrician Trade School near Thomson GA
Selecting the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Thomson GA.
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