How to Become an Electrician in Grayslake Illinois
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Grayslake IL. But with numerous 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 examine. For example, many prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final decision when choosing an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training choices that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Grayslake IL
There are three general approaches to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Grayslake IL. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Following are brief descriptions of the 3 most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards students who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are offered by Illinois junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain Illinois colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Grayslake IL can perform a wide range of services, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but commonly around four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in several specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you select not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Grayslake IL
A possibility that you might have considered is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient option for students that have limited time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Commuting expenses from Grayslake IL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be available on line as well. All of these advantages can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Grayslake IL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Grayslake IL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Grayslake IL grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Grayslake IL area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Grayslake IL electrical company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Grayslake home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Grayslake IL, verify that the programs you are considering provide 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 because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Grayslake IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Grayslake IL area.
Grayslake is a village in Lake County in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is located in the Chicago metropolitan area, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Chicago's downtown, 14 miles (23 km) west of Lake Michigan, and 15 miles (24 km) south of the Wisconsin border. The village's population at the 2010 census was 20,957.
Grayslake is home to the College of Lake County, Grayslake North High School, Grayslake Central High School, the University Center of Lake County and the Lake County Fairgrounds. There are tentative plans to develop a lifestyle shopping center on the previous location of the Lake County Fairgrounds. At the south end of Grayslake, there are plans for a 640-acre (260 ha) development containing light industry, office space and residential space.
In 1880, the Wisconsin Central Railroad built a line from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, to Chicago which passed by the east side of Grays Lake. In 1886, the railroad built a station there, naming it Grayslake. The village incorporated in 1895.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Grayslake IL
Selecting the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician tech school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own 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 differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk 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 training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Grayslake IL.
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