If you are an aspiring electrician technician, attending a good electrical training school is probably the best option for you. Working as an electrician has a lot of earning potential and you will be able to enjoy the day to day experiences in the field. Electrician training offers the budding technician both stability as well as freedom in addition to a good earning potential.
Among all the places to get into this field, Connecticut is one of the best areas. The reason for it is that the Northeast of the US has all kinds of industries, commercial sectors as well as large residential projects. People in the northeast respect well-qualified technicians.
Reasons to get electrician training especially in Connecticut
There are a number of reasons as to why Connecticut is the ideal place to get trained.
1. There are a lot of people in the trade who are on the verge of retiring or will be retiring in the foreseeable future and so there are numerous job openings which are available and will be available in the future as well. Infact, it is said that in Connecticut the employment rate is projected to rise greater than 21% this is until the year 2022.
2. The wages earned by Connecticut electricians are higher than the national average wages for electricians. In fact it is not only electricians but also those who install and repair telecommunications equipment and those who repair electric motors and power tools as well.
3. There are a number of sponsors of apprentices such as employers or those who go in for labor/management partnerships. It is said that around four-fifths of the openings are in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
Start your Electrical Training in Connecticut
Normally a person who wants to be a full-fledged electrician needs to be a part of a foundation program. This is the first of two ways of approaching and learning this trade. During this foundation program which typically lasts less than a year, the person learns about the fundamentals of electricity, the safety measures to be followed, schematics as well as the reading of blueprints, they learn low voltage wiring which is for commercial, residential as well as industrial systems. The person learns about generators, transformers as well as electrical motors and circuitry connections. Finally, they also learn about the national electric code.
Once all the classroom sessions are put in or even during the entire period, the person works as an apprentice with another journeyman or master electrician. The on job training continues till enough experience is gained. After which the person needs to complete a registered apprenticeship program which amounts to around 4 years of experience and training. Then they are termed as a journeyperson. The next step after enough experience is gained, is to become a master electrician.
As stated before, there are two ways about becoming an electrician. Either the person goes in for a traditional apprenticeship or else they go to a trade school. However, completion of an apprenticeship is mandatory whether the person has attended trade school or not.
While in apprenticeship the person gets paid while they learn, they get hands-on experience and have the opportunity of networking with potential employers. The reason why a trade school is a preferred option before directly going in for apprenticeship is that:
1. The person may be unsure of the kind of electrician that they want to be and so when they attend trade school they get trained on multiple fields
2. They are exposed to concepts and theory which otherwise they would not be exposed to
3. They are trained with simulators and this will help them for quick transition to the work which is required of them during the apprenticeship period
4. They are also better prepared for the real world than those that directly go in for apprenticeship.
During the apprenticeship, the person needs to put in at least 144 hours of a classroom session and 2000 hours of hands-on supervised training. During apprenticeship the student learns:
a) Different safety procedures
b) The mathematics that is needed on job
c) The tools as well as the techniques which are required for the job
d) How to apply electrical theories on the job
Prerequisites to become an electrician
In order to become an electrician, there are a few prerequisites.
a) The person should have a GED or a high school diploma
b) They should be able to prove that they have learned algebra for at least a year
c) They must be at least 18 years old
The student should know geometry as well as basic physics. The reason is that as an electrician they will need to perform numerous calculations using different math skills.
What do students gain from going to electrician training schools?
When students are part of an electrician training school they:
a) Are able to complete the classroom training programs within a year
b) They are prepared for the licensure test of Connecticut
c) They get hands-on training
d) The training is imparted by professionals who have a lot of experience
e) The course teaches them various aspects of the trade including safety, fundamentals as well as troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
f) The graduates also receive job placement assistance
g) The student gains skills and knowledge which are essential for the job
h) The schools include personal skills as part of the curriculum so that the students are more employable
i) The career services team helps the student with creating their resume and enhancing their job interview skills.
During the electrical training program, the students need to answer questions regarding practices to ensure the job site is safe, they need to be able to identify hazards. The students need to be aware of the dangers of electricity and how to maintain a safe environment. They also need to know CPR training, basic first aid, requirements on the job site, guidelines to use AEG and GFCI as well as the procedures for use of MSDS sheets and handling of hazardous materials.
The student also learns about hand as well as power tools, how to use them and maintain those, safety techniques, how to use meters as well as how to identify defective tools. They learn how to tie knots, how hoisting and rigging need to be done, the safety procedures regarding rigging, the shape as well as the depth of support holes, the techniques for digging, leveling and grading. They learn using of platform lifts, truck mounted cranes, bucket trucks, and motorized equipment. They also learn how to identify materials which are to be used and how they need to be used correctly.
As part of the math curriculum, they learn algebraic formulae, use of fractions, standard arithmetic, using decimals, square roots, basic trigonometry, direct as well as inverse relationship, percentages, and ratios.
As part of electrical theory they learn the various units of measure and terms, electrical current, flow of electrons, electromagnetism and magnetism, ohms law, superposition, AC theory, parallel and series circuits as well as combination circuits, they learn polarity, distribution of voltage, wire sizes, three wire and three phase systems as well as electronics.
Apprenticeship programs are offered either by the trade school or by the electrical training alliance. It is also offered by organizations which support the electrical industry, trade unions, community colleges and organizations like the trade unions.
The licensing is the most crucial stage in becoming an electrician. It consists of the learning of the national electrical code, the state as well as the local electrical codes. One can only sit up for these exams when the classroom hours and supervised hands-on training hours have been completed and in case there are other requisites by the state, those need to be completed as well. The licensing exam is usually timed and computerized.
Specialized Electrical Training
There are different kinds of specialization one can go in for. They are wireman, installer technician, outside linesman and residential wireman training. Each of these specializations consists of apprenticeship in their field after the student has graduated from accredited training programs by electrical schools.
Working as an electrician is exciting but it is dangerous too. Therefore the industry codes, the best practices as well as procedures need to be familiar with the student and they also need to know other information which is necessary to ensure the safety and security of all the people around.
Benefits of becoming an electrician
There are huge benefits of becoming an electrician including a guaranteed to have a job after graduation and a guarantee of earning a decent wage. Probably one of the best advantages is that the student after graduation does not have to deal with unmanageable student loans. There are opportunities for advancing in the career. The person may start off as a service technician and then progress to field managers, distribution managers and operations managers. The electrician can be their own boss and work on their own. They do not have boring 9 – 5 jobs and can be assured of never being bored at work.
Lincoln Tech is accepting new students for their next program. They offer their electrical and renewable energy technology program in Connecticut. You’ll get hands-on classroom training in alternative energy as well as learn about lights, switches and appliances. In Connecticut they have 4 campus locations however please check to make sure they offer this program at the campus nearest you: 200 John Downey Dr. New Britian, CT 06051 – 8 Progress Dr Shelton, CT 06484 – 97 Newberry Rd East Windsor, CT 06088 and 85 Sigourney St Hartford, CT 06105. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Porter and Chester Institute
In as little as 1 year you can be well on your way to becoming an electrician. Their program will get you prepared to take the Class B Journeyman Electrician exam. Your first step is the L-6 Electrical Journeyperson and E-2 Unlimited Electrical Journeyperson licensure exam. They have campus locations in: Branford, Enfield, Rocky Hill, Straftord and Waterbury.
Industrial Management and Training Institute
They offer a 900 hour electrical technician program where graduates have started in entry level positions as commercial or residential electricians or cable installers. 233 Mill St Waterbury, CT.
Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute
Take courses in AC/DC, low voltage wiring, residential and commercial wiring, introduction to electricity and NEC. Campus locations in Connecticut: 470 Bank St. New London, CT 06320 and 44 Shelter Road Rd Danbury, CT 06810.
Salaries in Connecticut are comparable to the rest of the county and average $50,000 per year for most electricians. The highest salaries are those who work in hydroelectric plants where the salary can reach $83,000 but the majority of the jobs available are in both the commercial and residential areas. The higher paying jobs you’ll find require you to have at least 5 years of prior electrical experience as well as work for a specialty company such as those in solar. The top areas in Connecticut in terms of median salary were those in Bridgeport, Hartford, New London, Norwich, Stamford and Danbury.
The reason why so many recent high school graduates or those looking to change careers are looking into becoming an electrician is the job market is strong in Connecticut. Most hands-on trade programs have continued to be in demand as the government cracks down on colleges. Without trade schools we would lose a big percentage of our workforce. As electricians continue to learn more advanced techniques including those in photovoltaic (solar) the need for qualified electricians rise. Many enter the field as the want the flexibility to be their own boss. Even if they are employed by a company they usually schedule their appointments and work their own hours. The freedom to not be in an office setting all day is very appealing to many.
Another reason is job security. With the industry set to increase by 20% over the next decade your job isn’t on the line compared to other industries. Being a service technician doesn’t mean you don’t have any job growth possibilities. As an electrician the one thing that allows you to continue to grow is the number of years you have under your belt. Once you have 4+ years as an electrician you can then start looking for careers in management. Once a manager you could control a region in Connecticut where your technicians work and be responsible for their performance.