How to Become an Electrician in Pickens South Carolina
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Pickens SC. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to examine. For instance, many students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only qualifications that need to be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Pickens SC
There are three general ways to get electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Pickens SC. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most common programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by South Carolina technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to finish and are provided by South Carolina junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some South Carolina institutions, but are less favored at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed prior to licensing. Because of that, most 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 Pickens SC can carry out a vast array of duties, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly around 4 to 5 years of experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves 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 imperative that the electrician tech school that you enroll in not only provides a solid educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Pickens SC
An alternative that you may have contemplated is selecting an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this situation they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, internet learning may be a more convenient choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus numerous online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting expenses from Pickens SC are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be accessed online as well. All of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Pickens SC area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Pickens SC program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, 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 may also mean that the instructors 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 broader directory of graduates, which may produce 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 additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Pickens SC grads secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Pickens SC area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Pickens SC electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Pickens residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized training 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Pickens SC, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Pickens SC?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Pickens SC area.
Pickens, South Carolina
Pickens, formerly called Pickens Courthouse, is a city in Pickens County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 3,126 at the 2010 census. Pickens changed its classification from a town to a city in 1998, but it was not reported to the Census Bureau until 2001. It is the county seat of Pickens County. It was named after Andrew Pickens (1739–1817), an American revolutionary soldier and US Congressman for South Carolina.
Present-day Pickens of Pickens County was previously Cherokee Territory. During the American Revolutionary War, the Cherokee sided with the Kingdom of Great Britain. When Great Britain was defeated in the war, the Cherokee were forced to surrender their land. In 1791, the state legislature established Washington District that comprises present-day Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens County. In 1798 Washington District was divided into Greenville and Pendleton districts. The Pendleton district eventually became Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens County. Pendleton District was divided in 1828 into Anderson and Pickens. A courthouse was established on the banks of the Keowee River where the town of Pickens Court House was developed. The Hagood-Mauldin House was built circa 1856 and is one of the historic structures of Pickens County. In 1868, the Pickens District was divided for a final time, into Pickens and Oconee counties. Pickens Court House relocated to its present-day site and was renamed to Pickens.
The Pickens Railway was established in 1898 as a shortline railroad from Easley to Pickens. From 1955 until 1987, Sangamo-Weston Inc. operated a capacitor manufacturing facility just outside Pickens. Until they were banned in the US, Sangamo discharged a significant amount of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into a tributary of the Twelve Mile River which feeds Lake Hartwell. Sangamo also dumped contaminated waste in six locations in the vicinity of Pickens. In two of these locations, the waste was burned, forming more dangerous dioxins. According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, contamination was discovered at the "Breazeale site", southwest of town. Schlumberger paid $11.8 million to federal and state agencies for injuries to natural resources caused by the contamination.
Pick the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Pickens SC
Picking the right electrician trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Pickens SC.
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