How to Become an Electrician in Duncan Arizona
The first step to learning to be an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Duncan AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that must be considered. 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 judgment when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Duncan AZ
There are several ways to obtain electrician training in a trade or technical school near Duncan AZ. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by the majority of states in order to be licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the 3 most typical programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Arizona technical and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards individuals who want to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are provided by Arizona junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while supplying the foundation that readies students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are offered at certain Arizona colleges, but are less favored at 4 years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and more typically 4 years be carried out prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are anxious to commence their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician License and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Duncan AZ can undertake a wide range of duties, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around four to five years of experience is required before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications offered differ by state and can be acquired in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 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 important that the electrician tech school that you choose not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Schools Online in Duncan AZ
An alternative that you might have considered is choosing an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. Although online training programs are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Pretty much all electrician schools require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, distance learning might be a more convenient option for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online training programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Driving expenses from Duncan AZ are also reduced and a portion of the study materials may be available on line as well. All of these benefits can make online electrician tech schools more economical and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will cover in our due diligence checklist.
Topics to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Duncan AZ region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Duncan AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Duncan AZ graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Duncan AZ area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local 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 using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Duncan AZ electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Duncan home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Duncan AZ, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Duncan AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Duncan AZ area.
Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.
The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The Day family ran the ranch for many years until selling it; it continues to be run as a ranch. O'Connor later wrote a book titled Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest about her childhood experiences on the ranch with her brother H. Alan Day.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Technical School near Duncan AZ
Choosing the ideal electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Duncan AZ.
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