How to Become an Electrician in Blue Island Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Blue Island IL. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of variables to examine. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified several that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Blue Island IL
There are several ways to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Blue Island IL. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are short explanations of the three most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Illinois vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who would like to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require two years to complete and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Illinois colleges, but are less preferred at 4 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 carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Blue Island IL can undertake a wide range of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is required in order to take the licensing exam. The exams commonly assess electrical theory and general knowledge, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be acquired in numerous specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes three levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you select not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Blue Island IL
A possibility that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Commuting expenses from Blue Island IL are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be accessed online also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Blue Island IL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications 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 an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Blue Island IL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also signify 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 broader list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Blue Island IL students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Blue Island IL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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 technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Blue Island IL electrical company if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Blue Island residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with 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 evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Blue Island IL, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Blue Island IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Blue Island IL area.
Blue Island, Illinois
Blue Island is a city in Cook County, Illinois, located approximately 16 miles (26 km) south of Chicago's Loop. Blue Island is adjacent to the city of Chicago and shares its northern boundary with that city's Morgan Park neighborhood. The population was 23,706 at the 2010 United States Census.
Blue Island was established in the 1830s as a way station for settlers traveling on the Vincennes Trace, and the settlement prospered because it was conveniently situated a day's journey outside of Chicago. The late-nineteenth-century historian and publisher Alfred T. Andreas made the following observation regarding the appearance of the young community in History of Cook County Illinois (1884), "The location of Blue Island Village is a beautiful one. Nowhere about Chicago is there to be found a more pleasant and desirable resident locality."
Since its founding, the city has been an important commercial center in the south Cook County region, although its position in that respect has been eclipsed in recent years as other significant population centers developed around it and the region's commercial resources became spread over a wider area. In addition to its broad long-standing industrial base, the city enjoyed notable growth in the 1840s during the construction of the feeder canal (now the Calumet Sag Channel) for the Illinois and Michigan Canal and as the center of a large brick-making industry beginning in the 1850s, which eventually gave Blue Island the status of brick-making capitol of the world. Beginning in 1883, Blue Island was also host to the car shops of the Rock Island Railroad. Blue Island was home to several breweries, who used the east side of the hill to store their product before the advent of refrigeration, until the Eighteenth Amendment made these breweries illegal in 1919. A large regional hospital and two major clinics are also located in the city.
Find the Right Electrical Trade School near Blue Island IL
Selecting the ideal electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician tech school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on 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 trade as a professional electrician in Blue Island IL.
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