How to Become an Electrician in Colchester Illinois
The first step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near Colchester IL. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many variables to consider. For instance, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Colchester IL
There are three general ways to obtain electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Colchester IL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to complete and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain Illinois colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Colchester IL can perform a multitude of tasks, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually test electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be earned in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Colchester IL
A possibility that you may have considered is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools have become more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning can be a more practical choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional counterparts. Driving costs from Colchester IL are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Colchester IL area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have earned 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 relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Colchester IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Colchester IL students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught in conjunction 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 electrician businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Colchester IL area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish 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 state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Colchester IL electrical company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Colchester home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important 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 a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Colchester IL, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out 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 Colchester IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Colchester IL area.
According to the North American Stratigraphic Code, rock units were given names that included the geographic name of a location where the rock unit was first described. If the rock unit consisted of a dominant rock type, the rock type was included in the name. In this case, when coal was first discovered and described in Colchester, Illinois, the rock unit was named "Colchester Coal". When this particular coal unit was encountered in a different location, the coal was correctly identified as Colchester Coal.
The mines in Colchester attracted immigrants from Pennsylvania. At first these included the descendants of Irish Protestant refugees from the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Later they were joined by Irish Catholic refugees from the Irish Potato Famine.
During the 1920s, Colchester was the home of Henry "Kelly" Wagle, a bootlegger associated with Al Capone. Wagle was involved in the production of alcohol and its transportation between Chicago and Kansas City.
Pick the Ideal Electrical Trade School near Colchester IL
Choosing the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Colchester IL.
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