How to Become an Electrician in Spencerville Maryland
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Spencerville MD. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when picking an electrician school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Spencerville MD
There are multiple ways to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Spencerville MD. You can choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Maryland technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who want to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are provided by Maryland junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Maryland colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are eager to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Spencerville MD can perform a vast array of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around four to five years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in several specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you choose not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Spencerville MD
An alternative that you may have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more practical alternative for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Driving expenses from Spencerville MD are also minimized and some of the study materials may be available on line as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more economical and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Spencerville MD region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we discussed 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 final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Spencerville MD program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Spencerville MD graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Spencerville MD area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Spencerville MD electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Spencerville home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors 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 assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Spencerville MD, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Spencerville MD?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Spencerville MD area.
Maryland Route 198
Maryland Route 198 (MD 198) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. The highway runs 14.14 miles (22.76 km) from MD 650 near Spencerville east to the entrance of Fort George G. Meade beyond its junction with MD 32. MD 198 connects Laurel in far northern Prince George's County with the northeastern Montgomery County communities of Spencerville and Burtonsville and Maryland City and Fort Meade in western Anne Arundel County. The highway is a four-to-six-lane divided highway between U.S. Route 29 (US 29) in Burtonsville and the Baltimore–Washington Parkway in Maryland City.
MD 198 was constructed from US 1 in Laurel west toward Burtonsville in the early 1920s and completed in the late 1920s. Another section was built in Spencerville in the late 1920s; the two segments were connected in the mid-1950s. The Laurel–Fort Meade road was built as MD 602 for military access purposes in the mid-1940s, replacing the original highway between the two locations, MD 216. MD 198 was relocated through Laurel and extended east along MD 602 to Fort Meade in the early 1960s. The first divided highway portion of the highway was part of a relocation at the Interstate 95 (I-95) interchange in the early 1970s. The divided highway was extended west to Burtonsville in the mid-1980s and through Maryland City in the late 1980s. MD 198's eastern end was extended to MD 32 in the early 1990s and then moved again for its interchange with that highway in the early 2000s. The Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) plans to expand the remaining two-lane portions of MD 198 to a divided highway.
MD 198 begins at a four-legged intersection with MD 650 (New Hampshire Avenue) west of Spencerville. The west leg of the intersection is county-maintained Norbeck Road, which leads west to MD 28. MD 198 heads east as two-lane Spencerville Road through an intersection with Good Hope Road and passes through the village of Spencerville. At the western edge of Burtonsville, the highway expands to a four-lane undivided highway and has a three-way intersection with Old Columbia Pike and takes on that name. MD 198 expands to a six-lane divided highway just west of its three-quarter diamond interchange with US 29 (Columbia Pike). Access from southbound US 29 to MD 198 is provided via Columbia Pike, a bypassed segment of US 29 that intersects MD 198 opposite the ramp from MD 198 to southbound US 29.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Spencerville MD
Choosing the best electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Spencerville MD.
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