How to Become an Electrician in Sun Valley Idaho
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Sun Valley ID. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of points to examine. For instance, some students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only things that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when picking an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Sun Valley ID
There are multiple ways to get electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Sun Valley ID. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. In many cases these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the three most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Idaho vocational and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards those who would like to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees take two years to complete and are offered by Idaho junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Idaho institutions, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Sun Valley ID can perform a wide range of functions, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around four to five years of experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically test 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 identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails three levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations 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 choose not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Sun Valley ID
An alternative that you might have looked at is choosing an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more practical option for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from Sun Valley ID are also reduced and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Sun Valley ID area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational programs have acquired 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, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Sun Valley ID school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Sun Valley ID students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Sun Valley ID area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Sun Valley ID electrical contracting company if they can provide some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Sun Valley home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Sun Valley ID, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check 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 Sun Valley ID?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Sun Valley ID area.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley is a resort city in Blaine County in central Idaho, in the western United States. The resort is adjacent to the city of Ketchum and within the greater Wood River valley. The population was 1,406 at the 2010 census, down from 1,427 in 2000. The elevation of Sun Valley (at the Lodge) is 5,920 feet (1,805 m) above sea level. Scheduled passenger airline service is available via the Friedman Memorial Airport located in nearby Hailey, approximately 15 miles (25 km) south. Visitors to Sun Valley are relatively close to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, accessed over Galena Summit on State Highway 75, the Sawtooth Scenic Byway.
Among skiers, the term "Sun Valley" refers to the alpine ski area, which consists of Bald Mountain, the main ski mountain adjacent to Ketchum, and Dollar Mountain, adjacent to Sun Valley, for novice and lower intermediate skiers. Bald Mountain, or "Baldy," has a summit of 9,150 feet (2,790 m) and a vertical drop of 3,400 feet (1,035 m). With its abundance of constant-pitch terrain, at varying degrees of difficulty, coupled with its substantial vertical drop and absence of wind, Baldy has often been referred to as one of the better ski mountains in the world. The treeless "Dollar" at 6,638 feet (2,023 m) has a moderate vertical drop of 628 feet (191 m).
The term "Sun Valley" is used more generally to speak of the region surrounding the city, including the neighboring city of Ketchum and the Wood River Valley area winding south to Hailey and Bellevue. The region has been a seasonal home to the rich and famous since first being brought to public attention by Ernest Hemingway in the late 1930s.
Choose the Right Electrician Technical School near Sun Valley ID
Picking the right electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any electrician tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Sun Valley ID.
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