BUCKHANNON — Local homeowners know just how valuable a good electrician can be, and Fred Eberle Technical Center is helping prepare students to be successful in the field.
Robert Lowther, the FETC electrical technician instructor, said the program serves mostly juniors and seniors.
“Students learn residential wiring, motor controls and National Electrical Code, and at the end of the program they should be able to take their journeyman’s electrician license test,” Lowther said. “All students who come through the program are allowed to take their journeyman or apprentice test, depending on the criteria.”
Electrician jobs are currently in demand, making the program one that is highly sought after.
“There is a lot of demand for electricians and a lot of opportunities for students,” Lowther said. “Most of our students are able to find work in the tri-county region. It is fun work if you like a different challenge every day.”
Students who are not necessarily looking for employment as an electrician still benefit from completing the FETC electrical technician program.
“It can be used in their personal lives as well,” Lowther said. “Students learn more than enough to wire their own homes or take care of their electrical problems. It can be transferred into other areas – completers can use what they learn in diagnostics for basic components on automobiles or four-wheelers.”
Zach Roberts is a Buckhannon-Upshur High School senior enrolled in the electrical technician program at FETC. He hopes to use the experience and knowledge he learned in the FETC program to obtain his electrician’s license.
“At the completion of the electrical technician program I hope to take my test and get my electrician’s license,” Zach said, adding that he plans to work in residential electricity.
He encouraged others to consider taking courses at FETC.
“Even if you do not go into the electrical field, this information is valuable,” Zach said. “If you have a problem in your home, you would be able to fix it yourself.”
While in the FETC electrical technician program, Zach said he has worked with timers and relays and has learned to wire switches. He can also now troubleshoot many electrical issues.
“I have learned a lot, and it has been lots of fun,” Zach said, adding that while taking the course, he is also earning an embedded math credit. “The math credit helps with the math side of electricity, which is a big part. Since the class periods are two periods long, earning a math credit while taking the program helps me to complete my required subjects as well.”