How to Become an Electrician in Mesa Arizona
The initial step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is locating an electrician trade school near Mesa AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many points to consider. For example, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have found some that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Mesa AZ
There are multiple approaches to receive electrician instruction in a technical or vocational school near Mesa AZ. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Frequently these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you wish to become certified. Following are short descriptions of the three most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Arizona trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a good foundation and are aimed towards those who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to finish and are provided by Arizona community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Arizona institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other briefer programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases 4 years be carried out before licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Criteria
Electricians in Mesa AZ can undertake a multitude of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but commonly about four to five years of experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically test general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to differentiate him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered vary by state and can be obtained in many specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually involves three 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician trade school that you select not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may be required to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Programs in Mesa AZ
An alternative that you might have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a degree or a certificate. While online training programs have become more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning can be a more convenient alternative for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus competitors. Driving expenses from Mesa AZ are also reduced and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the Mesa AZ region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational schools have earned 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 pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Mesa AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the electrician training program 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent 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 list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Mesa AZ students obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Mesa AZ area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Mesa AZ electrical company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Mesa home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Mesa AZ, verify that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Mesa AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Mesa AZ area.
Mesa (/ˈmeɪsə/ MAY-sə) is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a suburb located about 20 miles (32 km) east of Phoenix. Mesa is the central city of the East Valley section of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is bordered by Tempe on the west, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on the north, Chandler and Gilbert on the south along with Queen Creek, and Apache Junction on the east.
Mesa is the third-largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix and Tucson, and the 36th-largest city in the US. The city is home to 439,041 people as of 2010 according to the Census Bureau. Mesa is home to numerous higher education facilities including the Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University.
The history of Mesa dates back at least 2,000 years to the arrival of the Hohokam people. The Hohokam, whose name means "All Used Up" or "The Departed Ones", built the original canal system. The canals were the largest and most sophisticated in the prehistoric New World. Some were up to 90 feet (27 m) wide and 10 feet (3.0 m) deep at their head gates, extending for as far as 16 miles (26 km) across the desert. By A.D. 1100 water could be delivered to an area over 110,000 acres (450 km2), transforming the Sonoran Desert into an agricultural oasis. By A.D. 1450, the Hohokam had constructed hundreds of miles of canals many of which are still in use today.
Find the Right Electrical Trade School near Mesa AZ
Picking the ideal electrical training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Mesa AZ.
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