How to Become an Electrician in Tucson Arizona
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Tucson AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of points to examine. For instance, some students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have identified some that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about being an electrician and the training options that are accessible.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Options near Tucson AZ
There are three general ways to get electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Tucson AZ. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or earn an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Often these programs are made available combined with an apprenticeship program, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you would like to earn certification. Following are brief explanations of the three most prevalent programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally provided by Arizona trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who wish to get into an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs require 2 years to complete and are provided by Arizona junior or community colleges, typically as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They offer a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain Arizona colleges, but are less preferred at 4 years than the other briefer programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be performed before licensing. Therefore, most students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their educational program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Criteria
Electricians in Tucson AZ can carry out a wide range of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship varies by state, but normally around four to five years of experience is called for before taking the licensing exam. The exams commonly evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary method for an electrician to identify her or himself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be acquired in various specializations, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 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 important that the electrician trade school that you enroll in not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may be required to pass in the future.
Attending Electrician Online Schools in Tucson AZ
An option that you might have contemplated is choosing an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Although online training programs are becoming more prevalent as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to get hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, internet learning might be a more convenient option for students that have minimal time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online schools have a lower tuition cost compared to their on campus alternatives. Travelling expenses from Tucson AZ are also minimized and a portion of the study materials can be available online also. All of these advantages can make online electrician vocational schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Tucson AZ area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be a feature that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical tech school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Tucson AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers 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 more extensive list of alumni, which may produce 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help Tucson AZ students secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrical businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Tucson AZ area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Tucson AZ electrical contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Tucson residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tucson AZ, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Tucson AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Tucson AZ area.
Tucson (/ˈtuːsɒn/ /tuːˈsɒn/) is a city and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States, and home to the University of Arizona. The 2010 United States Census put the population at 520,116, while the 2015 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was 980,263. The Tucson MSA forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area (CSA), with a total population of 1,010,025 as of the 2010 Census. Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, both of which anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor. The city is  located 108 miles (174 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the U.S.–Mexico border. Tucson is the 33rd largest city and the 53rd largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Major incorporated suburbs of Tucson include Oro Valley and Marana northwest of the city, Sahuarita south of the city, and South Tucson in an enclave south of downtown. Communities in the vicinity of Tucson (some within or overlapping the city limits) include Casas Adobes, Catalina Foothills, Flowing Wells, Midvale Park, Tanque Verde, Tortolita, and Vail. Towns outside the Tucson metro area include Benson to the southeast, Catalina and Oracle to the north, and Green Valley to the south.
The Spanish name of the city, Tucsón [tukˈson], is derived from the O'odham Cuk Ṣon [tʃʊk ʂɔːn], meaning "(at the) base of the black [hill]", a reference to a basalt-covered hill now known as Sentinel Peak, also known as "A" Mountain. Tucson is sometimes referred to as "The Old Pueblo".
Find the Right Electrical Trade School near Tucson AZ
Picking the best electrician trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrician training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional electrician in Tucson AZ.
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