How to Become an Electrician in Woodstock Illinois
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Woodstock IL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many factors to consider. For instance, many potential students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final decision when choosing an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Woodstock IL
There are three general ways to get electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Woodstock IL. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available together 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 short descriptions of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically provided by Illinois technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to complete and are provided by Illinois junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Illinois colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. Because of that, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Woodstock IL can undertake a vast array of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in various specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails three levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations 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 vocational school that you pick not only furnishes a solid academic 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 Woodstock IL
An option that you might have considered is choosing an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online schools are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be accessed online, distance learning may be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have minimal time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Driving expenses from Woodstock IL are also lessened and some of the study materials can be accessed on line as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Woodstock IL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested 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 determination, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical 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 instance electrical technology. Verify that the Woodstock IL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Woodstock IL students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with Woodstock IL area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Woodstock IL electrical company if they can provide some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Woodstock residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Woodstock IL, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Woodstock IL?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Woodstock IL area.
Woodstock is a city in and the county seat of McHenry County, Illinois, United States, located 51 miles (82 km) northwest of Chicago. The population was 25,528 at the start of 2017. The city's downtown includes a historic, turn-of-the-century town square, which is anchored by the landmark Woodstock Opera House and the Old McHenry County Courthouse. The city was named one of the nation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 2007 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Woodstock's was originally known as Centerville due to its location at the geographic center of McHenry County. It was chosen as the county seat on September 4, 1843. Early settler Alvin Judd developed a plat for the town, incorporating a two-acre public square, near which a 2-story frame courthouse and jail were constructed the following year by George C. Dean and Daniel Blair. In 1845, resident Joel Johnson proposed that Centerville be given a more original name, and so the town was renamed Woodstock after Johnson's hometown of Woodstock, Vermont. (The town was listed as "Center" on the 1850 Federal Census, however.) In 1852, Woodstock was incorporated as a village with Judd as president. In response to a growing population following the end of the Civil War, Woodstock was incorporated as a city in 1873. John S. Wheat was elected as Woodstock's first mayor. A vital artery for the growing town was the train line to and from Chicago, which allowed for a substantial industrial presence early in the town's history.
In 1895, Eugene V. Debs served a short federal prison sentence in the Woodstock Jail following the 1894 Pullman labor strike in Chicago. Debs, the former president of the American Railway Union, was held in Woodstock instead of Chicago because federal officials feared that he would be surrounded with too many sympathizers in a Chicago prison and therefore could have still incited further violence. Debs was instead assigned to a cell in the newly constructed Woodstock Jail, which occupied the lowest floor of the Woodstock Courthouse on the town square. During his time in jail, Debs received several influential socialist visitors and encountered the works of Karl Marx. He is said to have considered the Woodstock Jail one of the "greatest school[s]," and passed his time reading and writing many letters from his cell. By the time he was released in November 1895 (to great fanfare and before crowds of onlookers assembled in the Woodstock Square), Debs had become a socialist and a national celebrity. He later ran for the United States Presidency five times between 1900 and 1920 as the candidate for the newly formed Social Democratic Party.
Pick the Right Electrical Tech School near Woodstock IL
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Woodstock IL.
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