How to Become an Electrician in Narragansett Rhode Island
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Narragansett RI. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many factors to consider. For instance, many students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have found some that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that should be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final judgment when picking an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the educational options that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Diploma and Certificate Options near Narragansett RI
There are multiple options to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Narragansett RI. You can enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three options. Often these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Following are brief summaries of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Rhode Island vocational and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards those who want to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve two years to finish and are offered by Rhode Island community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Rhode Island colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Narragansett RI can perform a wide range of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but generally about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be obtained in many specializations, such as 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) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you enroll in not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Training Classes in Narragansett RI
A possibility that you might have looked at is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning might be a more accommodating alternative for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Driving expenses from Narragansett RI are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be accessed online as well. All of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Training Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Narragansett RI region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Narragansett RI school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Narragansett RI graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Narragansett RI area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build 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 tech you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Narragansett RI electrical contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Narragansett residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Narragansett RI, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask 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 Narragansett RI?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Narragansett RI area.
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Narragansett is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 15,868 at the 2010 census. However, during the summer months the town's population more than doubles to near 34,000. The town is colloquially known as "Gansett". The town of Narragansett occupies a narrow strip of land running along the eastern bank of the Pettaquamscutt River to the shore of Narragansett Bay. It was separated from South Kingstown in 1888, and incorporated as a town in 1901.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.8 square miles (98 km2), of which, 14.1 square miles (37 km2) of it is land and 23.6 square miles (61 km2) of it (62.56%) is water.
The following villages and neighborhoods are wholly or partially located in Narragansett: Saunderstown (shared with North Kingstown), South Ferry, Bonnet Shores, Narragansett Pier, Point Judith, Galilee, Great Island, Salt Pond, Mettatuxet, and Jerusalem (shared with South Kingstown).
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Trade School near Narragansett RI
Selecting the right electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrician training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Narragansett RI.
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