How to Become an Electrician in Phoenix Arizona
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Phoenix AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that must be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when selecting an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are available.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Programs near Phoenix AZ
There are several ways to obtain electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Phoenix AZ. You can select a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are short summaries of the 3 most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually provided by Arizona technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require two years to finish and are offered by Arizona community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Arizona institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed before licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician License and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Phoenix AZ can undertake a vast array of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually about four to five years of prior experience is needed in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional means for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 3 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only delivers a strong academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Phoenix AZ
An alternative that you may have looked at is selecting an online electrician school to earn a certificate or degree. While online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require partial attendance on campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the remainder of the classes may be attended online, internet learning may be a more practical choice for individuals that have minimal time for education. And as a bonus many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from Phoenix AZ are also minimized and some of the study materials may be accessed on line also. All of these benefits can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Because there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Phoenix AZ region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Phoenix AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent 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 more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Phoenix AZ students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Phoenix AZ area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Phoenix AZ electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Phoenix home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Phoenix AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Phoenix AZ area.
Phoenix (/ˈfiːnɪks/) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arizona. With 1,615,017 people (as of 2016[update]), Phoenix is the fifth most populous city nationwide, the most populous state capital in the United States, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.
Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is a part of the Salt River Valley. The metropolitan area is the 12th largest by population in the United States, with approximately 4.73 million people as of 2017[update]. In addition, Phoenix is the seat of Maricopa County, and at 517.9 square miles (1,341 km2), it is the largest city in the state, more than twice the size of Tucson and one of the largest cities in the United States.
Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers, Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. It became the capital of Arizona in 1889. Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a hot desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community, many of the original crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton, citrus, and hay (which was important for the cattle industry). Cotton, cattle, citrus, climate, and copper were known locally as the "Five C's" of Phoenix's economy. These industries remained the driving forces of the city until after World War II, when high-tech companies began to move into the valley and air conditioning made Phoenix's hot summers more bearable.
Select the Ideal Electrician Tech School near Phoenix AZ
Choosing the ideal electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Phoenix AZ.
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