How to Become an Electrician in Douglas Arizona
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is finding an electrician trade school near Douglas AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many points to evaluate. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when choosing an electrician trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about being an electrician and the instructional choices that are accessible.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Programs near Douglas AZ
There are several approaches to obtain electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Douglas AZ. You may enroll in a certificate or diploma program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the first three alternatives. Often these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states to be licensed or if you would like to become certified. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Arizona trade and technical schools and take approximately a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are aimed towards students who want to join an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to complete and are offered by Arizona junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more extensive education while providing the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are available at certain Arizona colleges, but are less favored at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states require that an apprenticeship of no less than 2 years and in most cases four years be performed prior to licensing. For that reason, most students are eager to commence their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not part of their academic program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Requirements
Electricians in Douglas AZ can perform a wide range of tasks, such as installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but normally around 4 to 5 years of prior experience is called for before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically evaluate general knowledge and electrical theory, as well as understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and can be acquired in many specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases involves 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) along with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s imperative that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only delivers a strong educational foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Programs Online in Douglas AZ
An option that you may have looked at is enrolling in an electrician online school to earn a certificate or degree. Even though online schools are becoming more accepted 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 partial attendance on-campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the remainder of the classes may be accessed online, internet learning may be a more practical choice for students that have limited time for schooling. And as a bonus many online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their traditional competitors. Driving expenses from Douglas AZ are also minimized and some of the study materials can be available online also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online vocational schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Douglas AZ area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. If you have an interest in earning an online degree, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And although all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in an electrical vocational school.
Accreditation. Many electrician trade programs have earned 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 a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Douglas AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the electrician training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician schools 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 low completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train 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 can produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 Douglas AZ grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with Douglas AZ area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Douglas AZ electrical company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Douglas residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Douglas AZ, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Douglas AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Douglas AZ area.
Douglas is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States that lies in the north-west to south-east running San Bernardino Valley within which runs the Rio San Bernardino. Douglas has a border crossing with Mexico at Agua Prieta and a history of mining.
The Douglas area was first settled by the Spanish in the 18th century. Presidio de San Bernardino was established in 1776 and abandoned in 1780. It was located a few miles east of present-day Douglas. The United States Army established Camp San Bernardino in the latter half of the 19th century near the presidio, and in 1910 Camp Douglas was built next to the town.
Douglas was founded as an American smelter town, to treat the copper ores of nearby Bisbee, Arizona. The town is named after mining pioneer Dr. James Douglas and was incorporated in 1905. Two copper smelters operated at the site. The Calumet and Arizona Company Smelter was built in 1902. The Copper Queen operated in Douglas from 1904 until 1931, when the Phelps Dodge Corporation purchased the Calumet and Arizona Company and took over their smelter. The Calumet and Arizona smelter then became the Douglas Reduction Works. Douglas was the site of the Phelps-Dodge Corporation Douglas Reduction Works until its closure in 1987. The smoke stacks of the smelter were not taken down until January 13, 1991. The town was a site of the Arizona Copper Mine Strike of 1983.
Enroll in the Right Electrician Technical School near Douglas AZ
Picking the ideal electrical trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some 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 proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Douglas AZ.
Other Cool Cities in Arizona