How to Become an Electrician in Wellsburg West Virginia
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Wellsburg WV. But with numerous 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 home. Once they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when choosing an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Wellsburg WV
There are three general approaches to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Wellsburg WV. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by West Virginia vocational and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are offered by West Virginia junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at some West Virginia institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed before licensing. Because of that, many students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Wellsburg WV can carry out a vast array of functions, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually about four to five years of practical experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 3 levels of proficiency:
- 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 enroll in not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Wellsburg WV
An alternative that you might have considered is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to obtain hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on-campus alternatives. Travelling costs from Wellsburg WV are also lessened and a portion of the study materials may be accessed on line also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Wellsburg WV region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools 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 pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Wellsburg WV program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, 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 validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Wellsburg WV students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician training 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 inside their network of electrical companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Wellsburg WV area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical tech you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Wellsburg WV electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Wellsburg home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wellsburg WV, verify that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Wellsburg WV?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Wellsburg WV area.
Wellsburg, West Virginia
Wellsburg is a city in and the county seat of Brooke County, West Virginia, United States. It is part of the Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area. The 2010 census recorded a population of 2,805. The diverse economy includes one paper mill, a glass gift outlet, several telemarketing facilities, and a factory that does metal fabrication plus plastics molding.
In 1772, the Cox brothers, Friend, Israel, and Jonathan, made tomahawk rights claims totaling 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) in the area now including Wellsburg. In March 1788, Charles Prather purchased 481 acres (1.95 km2) from the Cox heirs for $3,000. In 1791, Prather petitioned Ohio County to incorporate the town of Charlestown, Virginia, naming it after himself. The original name continued until 1816, when it was changed to Wellsburg, to avoid confusion with Charles Town, Jefferson County. The new name was in honor of Charles Wells (1745-1815), Charles Prather’s son-in-law, builder of the first large flour warehouse in the east. Late in 1890, nearby Midway and Lazearville were annexed to Wellsburg.
Wellsburg was the home of Patrick Gass, the last surviving member of the Lewis and Clark expedition and author of a memoir of the famous journey. Here also was the home of Joseph Doddridge, author of Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars. In 1832, the original Grimes Golden apple tree was found just east of Wellsburg. The first glass factory in Western Virginia was built at Wellsburg in 1813.
Find the Right Electrician Trade School near Wellsburg WV
Selecting the right electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Wellsburg WV.
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