How to Become an Electrician in Clifton Arizona
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Clifton AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many variables to consider. For instance, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only things that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Clifton AZ
There are multiple ways to obtain electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Clifton AZ. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available together with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by most states to become licensed or if you would like to become certified. Following are brief explanations of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Arizona technical and trade schools and require approximately a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards those who would like to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are provided by Arizona community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Arizona colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically four years be completed prior to licensing. Therefore, many students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Clifton AZ can perform a wide range of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of practical experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually test 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 differentiate her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be earned in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 3 levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you select not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Clifton AZ
An option that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an electrician online program to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely 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, distance learning might be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Commuting costs from Clifton AZ are also minimized and some of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our questions to ask checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are so many electrician tech and trade schools in the Clifton AZ region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Clifton AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Clifton AZ students acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Clifton AZ area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Clifton AZ electrical contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Clifton residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Clifton AZ, confirm that the schools 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. Additionally, 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 Clifton AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Clifton AZ area.
Clifton is a town in and the county seat of Greenlee County, Arizona, United States, along the San Francisco River. The population of the town was 3,311 at the 2010 census, with a 2017 population estimate of 4,870 by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. It was a site of the Arizona copper mine strike of 1983.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38.4 km2), of which 14.6 square miles (37.8 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 1.46%, is water. Clifton has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh) that closely borders on both the hot desert climate and the cool semi-arid climate. There is a large degree of diurnal temperature variation. Summers are very hot and sometimes humid, with most rainfall coming from the monsoon between July and October. The wettest year was 2004 with 28.49 inches (723.6 mm) including 6.97 inches (177.0 mm) in August, whilst the driest year with a full record was 1924 with only 4.85 inches (123.2 mm) including a mere 1.98 inches (50.3 mm) between July and October. Winters are mild (though with very cold nights) and dry, with snow only recorded in fourteen years since 1892.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,596 people, 919 households, and 685 families residing in the town. The population density was 174.8 people per square mile (67.5/km²). There were 1,087 housing units at an average density of 73.2 per square mile (28.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.10% White, 0.96% Black or African American, 2.27% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 26.73% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. 55.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Right Electrician Trade School near Clifton AZ
Choosing the right electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional electrician in Clifton AZ.
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