How to Become an Electrician in Safford Arizona
The first step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Safford AZ. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, many prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have found some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Safford AZ
There are multiple approaches to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Safford AZ. You may enroll in a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some 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 required by the majority of states in order to become licensed or if you wish to earn certification. Bellow are short explanations of the three most common programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are typically offered by Arizona technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are geared towards students who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to finish and are provided by Arizona junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Arizona institutions, but are less favored at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases 4 years be performed before licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Safford AZ can carry out a vast array of duties, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually about four to five years of practical experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also an optional means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be acquired in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually entails 3 levels of proficiency:
- 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 crucial that the electrician trade school that you select not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in Safford AZ
An alternative that you might have considered is selecting an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online training programs are becoming more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes can be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient alternative for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit many online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Commuting costs from Safford AZ are also lessened and some of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician tech schools more affordable and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Safford AZ area, 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 are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Safford AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Safford AZ graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Safford AZ area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Safford AZ electrical company if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Safford residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Safford AZ, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Safford AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Safford AZ area.
Safford (Western Apache: Ichʼįʼ Nahiłtį́į́) is a city in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 9,566. The city is the county seat of Graham County.
Safford is located at 32°49′24″N 109°42′53″W / 32.82333°N 109.71472°W / 32.82333; -109.71472 (32.823266, -109.714613). The Pinaleno Mountains sit prominently to the southwest of town. The Pinalenos have the greatest vertical relief of any mountain range in Arizona.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22 km2), of which, 8.6 square miles (22 km2) of it is land and 0.03 square miles (0.078 km2) of it (0.18%) is water.
Enroll in the Ideal Electrician Technical School near Safford AZ
Selecting the ideal electrical training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Safford AZ.
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