How to Become an Electrician in Vidalia Georgia
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Vidalia GA. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, some students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified several that are within driving range, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Vidalia GA
There are several options to obtain electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Vidalia GA. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Georgia vocational and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 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 accessible at certain Georgia institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed before licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Vidalia GA can perform a multitude of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and may be obtained in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only delivers a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Vidalia GA
An option that you may have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more accommodating option for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Commuting costs from Vidalia GA are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available online as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Vidalia GA region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 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 chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Vidalia GA school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Vidalia GA graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Vidalia GA area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Vidalia GA electrical contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Vidalia home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to 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 training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience 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 handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Vidalia GA, check that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain 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 emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Vidalia GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Vidalia GA area.
Vidalia (/vaɪˈdeɪliə/ vye-DAY-lee-ə, locally /-ˈdeɪjə/ -DAY-yə) is a city located primarily in Toombs County, Georgia, United States. The city also extends very slightly into Montgomery County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,473.
Vidalia is the principal city of the Vidalia Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Montgomery and Toombs Counties, and had a combined population of 36,346 at the 2010 census.
The town was incorporated on January 1, 1890. It is the largest city in Toombs County, but it is not the county seat. Although a Georgia website suggests the town may have been named "via dalia" ("road of dahlias"), it may have been named — like Vidalia, Louisiana — in honor of Don José Vidal, a Spanish aristocrat.
Select the Right Electrician Tech School near Vidalia GA
Choosing the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Vidalia GA.
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