How to Become an Electrician in Bullhead City Arizona
The first step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is finding an electrician trade school near Bullhead City AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole things that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final decision when selecting an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the instructional choices that are offered.
Electrician Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programs near Bullhead City AZ
There are several ways to receive electrician training in a trade or technical school near Bullhead City AZ. You can choose a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at certain schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three alternatives. Frequently these programs are offered together with an apprenticeship program, which are required by the majority of states to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are brief descriptions of the three most typical programs offered.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Arizona vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards those who wish to join an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve 2 years to finish and are provided by Arizona junior or community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to join their apprenticeship program.
As earlier mentioned, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at some Arizona institutions, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and more typically 4 years be completed before licensing. Therefore, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Requirements
Electricians in Bullhead City AZ can perform a wide range of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in buildings and homes are up to code standards. After completing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but usually around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required before taking the licensing exam. The exams typically assess electrical theory and general knowledge, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in numerous specialties, including cable splicing as an example. The certification procedure in most cases involves three levels of competency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying agencies include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and also the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s crucial that the electrician trade school that you choose not only provides a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any certification and licensing examinations that you might need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Bullhead City AZ
An option that you may have contemplated is enrolling in an online electrician program to earn a certificate or degree. While online schools have become more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this situation they are not completely internet based. Virtually all electrician training programs require some attendance on-campus to obtain practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes may be attended online, distance learning may be a more practical choice for students that have minimal time for education. And as an added benefit many online schools have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Driving costs from Bullhead City AZ are also lessened and a portion of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will address in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are so many electrician vocational and trade schools in the Bullhead City AZ area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you have an interest in earning an degree online, then that needs to be an option that your final school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before choosing an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Bullhead City 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 obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher 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 use 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help Bullhead City AZ grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most electrician training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with Bullhead City AZ area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build 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 working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical technician you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Bullhead City AZ electrical contractor if they can provide some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Bullhead City home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some 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 fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Bullhead City AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Bullhead City AZ area.
Bullhead City, Arizona
Bullhead City is a city located on the Colorado River in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, roughly 90 mi (140 km) south of Las Vegas, Nevada, and directly across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, whose casinos and ancillary services supply much of the employment for Bullhead City. Bullhead City is located on the southern border of Lake Mohave. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 39,540. The nearby communities of Laughlin, Needles, California, Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley bring the Bullhead area's total population to about 100,000, making it the largest micropolitan area in Mohave County.
In 2011, the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport was named Airport of the Year by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The latest figures indicate that "...more than 115,000 people flew into Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport on casino-sponsored charters in 2010." In the 1980s the airport was home to the helicopters of the TV show Airwolf.
The earliest inhabitants of the Colorado River Valley were the Mojave people. The rich soil and plentiful water provided the valley's natives with the necessities to create a prosperous farming community. According to Mojave legend, life began on Spirit Mountain, the highest peak visible from the Bullhead City area.
Select the Right Electrical Tech School near Bullhead City AZ
Choosing the ideal electrician training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any electrician tech school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Bullhead City AZ.
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