How to Become an Electrician in Darien Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Darien IL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have found some that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting an electrician school. We will address 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 training options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Darien IL
There are multiple ways to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Darien IL. You may select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. In many cases these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Illinois technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards those who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to finish and are provided by Illinois community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Illinois institutions, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Darien IL can perform a vast array of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually assess electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and can be obtained in many specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Darien IL
A possibility that you might have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting costs from Darien IL are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed online as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Darien IL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Darien IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Darien IL students obtain apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Darien IL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local 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 working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Darien IL electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Darien home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in 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 important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors 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 handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Darien IL, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Darien IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Darien IL area.
The first people to settle in Darien came from New England via the Erie Canal and Great Lakes. Among the first to arrive was the Andres Neiman family. They settled along an old stagecoach line in 1835. Andres served as Justice of the Peace, Town Clerk, Assessor, Dog Catcher, and County Commissioner. He also established the Andres Inn, near what is currently the intersection of Lemont Road and I-55; the inn served the 15 stagecoaches that traveled the stagecoach line, and included a tavern and a post office. Andres named the area "Cass."
Andres and Father Beggs built the First Cass Church, which was a log cabin design. The church's cemetery, located west of where the church stood (west of Bailey Road and north of Frontage Road), can still be seen today. The church was also used as a school house.
Elisha and Eliza Smart settled in Darien in 1838 with their 10 children. Elisha joined the Gold Rush and left for California, returning seven years later as a very rich man. He bought more land and donated it, on which a new Cass Church was built in 1870.
Select the Right Electrician Trade School near Darien IL
Selecting the best electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed 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 necessity that any electrician tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Darien IL.
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