How to Become an Electrician in Fountain Hills Arizona
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Fountain Hills AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many variables to consider. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only things that should be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Fountain Hills AZ
There are multiple options to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Fountain Hills AZ. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Following are brief explanations of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Arizona technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They furnish a good foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take two years to complete and are provided by Arizona junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are accessible at some Arizona colleges, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. Because of that, the majority of students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Guidelines
Electricians in Fountain Hills AZ can perform a vast array of tasks, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams usually evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be obtained in numerous specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves three 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 crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only provides a solid academic foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Fountain Hills AZ
An option that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more accepted as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning might be a more practical alternative for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Travelling costs from Fountain Hills AZ are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be available online as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more economical and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because there are numerous electrician trade and vocational schools in the Fountain Hills AZ region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Fountain Hills AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Fountain Hills AZ graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Fountain Hills AZ area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Fountain Hills AZ electrical contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Fountain Hills residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one 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 see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Fountain Hills AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Fountain Hills AZ area.
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Fountain Hills is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. Known for its impressive fountain, once the tallest in the world, it borders on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The population is 22,489, as of the 2010 census. Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses it was the eighth-fastest-growing place among cities and towns in Arizona.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.1 km2), of which 18.1 square miles (46.9 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.26 km2) (0.55%) is water.
To the east of the town is the Verde River, a tributary to the Salt River. Inside the town there are many washes that run through Fountain Hills into the Verde River. Some of these washes include the Ashbrook, Balboa, Legend, and Colony Washes. During times of rain the washes flood with water and can sometimes block roads with their water.
Choose the Right Electrician Tech School near Fountain Hills AZ
Selecting the right electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrician training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Fountain Hills AZ.
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