How to Become an Electrician in Geneva Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Geneva IL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to consider. For example, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have located several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the only things that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Geneva IL
There are several options to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Geneva IL. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Illinois technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards those who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to complete and are offered by Illinois community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some Illinois colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be carried out before licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Geneva IL can carry out a wide range of services, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be earned in various specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 3 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 important that the electrician trade school that you select not only furnishes a strong educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Training Classes Online in Geneva IL
An alternative that you may have considered is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require some attendance on campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning can be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online training programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Travelling expenses from Geneva IL are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our due diligence checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Geneva IL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Geneva IL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Geneva IL students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Geneva IL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Geneva IL electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Geneva residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Geneva IL, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Geneva IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Geneva IL area.
Geneva is part of a tri-city area, located between St. Charles and Batavia. As of a July 2011 official US Census Bureau estimate, the city had a total population of 21,707. The area is currently experiencing a high level of population growth as Chicago's urban sprawl spreads farther west.
Geneva is a popular tourist destination with its scenic location along the Fox River and numerous shops and restaurants. There is an extensive bike trail system in Geneva including portions of the Fox River Trail and the Illinois Prairie Path. Geneva has an active historical society, the Geneva History Center, located in downtown Geneva as well as the Fabyan Windmill, an old Dutch windmill dating back to the 1850s. In 2013 it was nominated by Bloomberg Business Week as the best place to raise a kid in Illinois.
According to the 2010 census, Geneva has a total area of 9.994 square miles (25.88 km2), of which 9.75 square miles (25.25 km2) (or 97.56%) is land and 0.244 square miles (0.63 km2) (or 2.44%) is water.
Find the Ideal Electrical Vocational School near Geneva IL
Selecting the right electrical training program will undoubtedly 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 training programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Geneva IL.
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