How to Become an Electrician in Tempe Arizona
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Tempe AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when picking an electrician training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training options that are available.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Tempe AZ
There are multiple approaches to get electrician training in a technical or vocational school near Tempe AZ. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at certain schools, but are not as common as the first three options. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states to be licensed or if you intend to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most prevalent programs available.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Arizona technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who want to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs take 2 years to complete and are provided by Arizona junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more comprehensive education while providing the foundation that readies students to join their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain Arizona colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be carried out prior to licensing. Therefore, the majority of students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, especially if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Guidelines
Electricians in Tempe AZ can perform a wide range of services, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in the majority of states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about four to five years of prior experience is called for in order to take the licensing examination. The exams commonly assess general knowledge and electrical theory, in addition to understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also an optional way for an electrician to differentiate her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications offered differ by state and may be acquired in numerous specializations, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure usually includes 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician tech school that you choose not only provides a strong educational foundation, but also helps prep you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might be required to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Tempe AZ
An option that you may have looked at is enrolling in an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online schools are becoming more popular as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more accommodating option for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Driving costs from Tempe AZ are also lessened and some of the study materials may be accessed online also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more economical and convenient. And a number are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
What to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Since there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Tempe AZ region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Many electrician technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Tempe AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the electrician training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Tempe AZ students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade 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 Tempe AZ area electricians or electrical professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain 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 in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Tempe AZ electrical contractor if they can give you some pointers. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Tempe residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Tempe AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Tempe AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Tempe AZ area.
Tempe (/ˈtɛmpiː/ TEM'-pee;Oidbaḍ in Pima), also known as Hayden's Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University.
Fort McDowell was established approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of present downtown Tempe on the upper Salt River in 1865 allowing for new towns to be built farther down the Salt River. US military service members and Hispanic workers were hired to grow food and animal feed to supply the fort, and less than a year later, had set up small camps near the river that were the first permanent communities in the Valley after the fall of the Hohokam. (Phoenix was settled shortly afterward, by 1867–68.) The two settlements were 'Hayden's Ferry', named after a ferry service operated by Charles T. Hayden, and 'San Pablo', and were located west and east of Hayden Butte respectively. The ferry became the key river crossing in the area. The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company was soon established by William Kirkland and James McKinney to provide water for alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, and cotton.
Pioneer Darrell Duppa is credited with suggesting Tempe's name, adopted in 1879, after comparing the Salt River valley near a 300-foot (91 m)-tall butte, to the Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece.
Select the Ideal Electrical Technical School near Tempe AZ
Selecting the ideal electrical trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain 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 end result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Tempe AZ.
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