How to Become an Electrician in Godfrey Illinois
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Godfrey IL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, many students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have found some that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when choosing an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Godfrey IL
There are multiple approaches to receive electrician training in a vocational or trade school near Godfrey IL. You can enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are required by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are short summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Illinois vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at some Illinois colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out before licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Godfrey IL can perform a vast array of tasks, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually about four to five years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing exam. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be acquired in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician trade school that you choose not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Godfrey IL
A possibility that you may have considered is choosing an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a means 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 get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning may be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Driving costs from Godfrey IL are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Godfrey IL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. 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 important when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Godfrey IL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list 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 a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Godfrey IL grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician trade programs are taught along 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 companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Godfrey IL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Godfrey IL electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Godfrey home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Godfrey IL, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check 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 Godfrey IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Godfrey IL area.
According to the 2010 census, Godfrey has a total area of 36.638 square miles (94.89 km2), of which 34.64 square miles (89.72 km2) (or 94.55%) is land and 1.998 square miles (5.17 km2) (or 5.45%) is water.
The southwestern boundary of the village is a wall of limestone bluffs along the Mississippi River. Approximately 12 miles (19 km) upstream is the mouth of the Illinois River. The Missouri River empties into the Mississippi 10 miles (16 km) downstream. Godfrey retains the status of a village and is a mixture of small business, agriculture, and upper middle class housing developments.
The village is named for Captain Benjamin Godfrey, a native New Englander, who arrived in the area in 1832. 1838 saw the establishment of the Monticello Female Seminary, later renamed Monticello College. Captain Godfrey, the father of eight daughters, was an advocate of higher education for women and made a large donation of funds and land for the college. Monticello operated as a two-year college for women until the campus was sold in 1970 to establish Lewis and Clark Community College. Monticello's final class graduated in 1971.
Choose the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Godfrey IL
Choosing the best electrician 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 several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should 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 up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Godfrey IL.
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