How to Become an Electrician in West Point Georgia
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near West Point GA. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For example, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near West Point GA
There are several approaches to obtain electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near West Point GA. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are short descriptions of the three most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Georgia trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are provided by Georgia community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Georgia institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in West Point GA can carry out a wide range of tasks, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around four to five years of practical experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way 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 many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 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 crucial that the electrician trade school that you pick not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in West Point GA
An alternative that you may have looked at is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning may be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Driving expenses from West Point GA are also reduced and some of the study materials may be available online as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the West Point GA area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the West Point GA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist West Point GA grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with West Point GA area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment 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 using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local West Point GA electrical contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your West Point residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near West Point GA, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near West Point GA?
Following is a little bit of background information about the West Point GA area.
West Point, Georgia
West Point is a city in Troup and Harris counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 3,474, and in 2015 the estimated population was 3,728. Most of the city is in Troup County, which is part of the LaGrange Micropolitan Statistical Area, and hence part of the Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs, GA Combined Statistical Area. A sliver in the south is in Harris County, which is part of the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The city's present name comes from its being near the westernmost point of the Chattahoochee River, where the river turns from its southwesterly flow from the Appalachian Mountains to due south – for all practical purposes – and forms the boundary with Alabama. The large nearby reservoir, West Point Lake, was created by the Army Corps of Engineers by the building of the West Point Dam, for water storage and hydroelectric power generation. The reservoir stores water which can be released during dry seasons, in order to maintain the water level of the navigable inland waterway from Columbus, Georgia, south to the Gulf of Mexico.
During the late spring of 2003, there was a flood caused by extremely heavy rainfall and thunderstorms upstream of the West Point Dam; the weather caused the water level in the reservoir to come close to overflowing the top of the dam. There were allegations of poor forecasting by the Corps of Engineers of the reservoir's water levels. The flood water would have overflowed the dam had a large amount of water not been released though the spillway of the dam. Whereas this prevented the catastrophic failure of the West Point Dam, the city endured a flood much more severe than any other in the time since the dam had been built.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Trade School near West Point GA
Picking the best electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak 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 choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in West Point GA.
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