How to Become an Electrician in Collinsville Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Collinsville IL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many factors to consider. For example, some students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Collinsville IL
There are multiple approaches to get electrician training in a trade or technical school near Collinsville IL. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards those who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to complete and are offered by Illinois community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Illinois colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Collinsville IL can carry out a vast array of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be obtained in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 3 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you choose not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Programs in Collinsville IL
An option that you might have contemplated is choosing an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more prevalent as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning might be a more accommodating choice for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling costs from Collinsville IL are also reduced and some of the study materials may be available on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Collinsville IL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Collinsville IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Collinsville IL graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Collinsville IL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Collinsville IL electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Collinsville residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much individualized 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 see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Collinsville IL, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Collinsville IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Collinsville IL area.
Collinsville is a city located mainly in Madison County, and partially in St. Clair County, both in Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 25,579, an increase from 24,707 in 2000. Collinsville is approximately 12 miles from St. Louis, Missouri and is considered part of that city's Metro-East area. It is the home of the Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower, the world's largest ketchup bottle, and is the world's horseradish capital.Monks Mound, the largest man-made earthwork in North America, and now part of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, is located here.
According to the 2010 census, Collinsville has a total area of 14.874 square miles (38.52 km2), of which 14.68 square miles (38.02 km2) (or 98.7%) is land and 0.194 square miles (0.50 km2) (or 1.3%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 25,579 people, 10,458 households, and 6,672 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,817.4 people per square mile (701.9/km²). There were 11,025 housing units at an average density of 811.0 per square mile (313.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.4% White, 11.2% African American, 0.8% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 1.7% from other races (according to the "race alone of in combination" section of the Census Summary File 1).
Choose the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Collinsville IL
Choosing the right electrician training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any electrical training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Collinsville IL.
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