How to Become an Electrician in Des Plaines Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Des Plaines IL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, many students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Des Plaines IL
There are three general approaches to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Des Plaines IL. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who would like to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Illinois institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed before licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Des Plaines IL can carry out a wide range 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 mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around four to five years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be acquired in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails three levels of proficiency:
- 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 crucial that the electrician tech school that you choose not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you might be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Des Plaines IL
An alternative that you may have considered is selecting an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning can be a more accommodating option for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving expenses from Des Plaines IL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Des Plaines IL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And although 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 analyze before enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Des Plaines IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Des Plaines IL grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Des Plaines IL area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Des Plaines IL electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Des Plaines home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Des Plaines IL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Des Plaines IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Des Plaines IL area.
Des Plaines, Illinois
Des Plaines /dɪs ˈpleɪnz/ is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 58,364. It is a suburb of Chicago and is just north of O'Hare International Airport. It is located on, and named for, the Des Plaines River, which runs through the city just east of its downtown area.
Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwe (Chippewa) Native American tribes inhabited the Des Plaines River Valley prior to Europeans' arrival. When French explorers and missionaries arrived in the 1600s, in what was then the Illinois Country of New France, they named the waterway La Rivière des Plaines (River of the Plane Tree) as they felt that trees on the river resembled the European plane tree. The first white settlers came from the eastern United States in 1833, after the Treaty of Chicago, followed by many German immigrants during the 1840s and 1850s. In the 1850s, land in the area was purchased by the Illinois and Wisconsin Land Company along a railroad line planned between Chicago and Janesville, Wisconsin. In 1852, the developers built a steam-powered mill next to the river, to cut local trees into railroad ties. Socrates Rand then bought the mill and converted it into a grist mill, which attracted local farmers. The Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad made its first stop in the area in the fall of 1854.
In 1857, the Chicago, St. Paul and Fond du Lac Railroad began running its route, stoppingnear the mill on the Des Plaines river, where a small business section had grown up. The railroad platted the prospective town of Rand at the site. In 1859, the Chicago and North Western Railway purchased the rail line, giving the train station the name "Des Plaines". In 1869, the Rand subdivision name was changed to Des Plaines, and the village of Des Plaines was incorporated.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Technical School near Des Plaines IL
Picking the best electrical training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician tech school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Des Plaines IL.
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