How to Become an Electrician in Maricopa Arizona
The initial step to becoming an electrical contractor or tradesman is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Maricopa AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to examine. For example, many potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when picking an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming an electrician and the training choices that are offered.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near Maricopa AZ
There are several options to get electrician instruction in a trade or technical school near Maricopa AZ. You may choose a certificate or diploma program, or obtain an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at a few schools, but are not as prevalent as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are required by most states in order to be licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the three most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are typically offered by Arizona vocational and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards students who wish to enter an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degree Programs involve 2 years to complete and are offered by Arizona community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degree programs are available at certain Arizona colleges, but are less popular at four years than the other briefer programs. Most states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 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 educational program.
Electrician Certification and Licensing Prerequisites
Electricians in Maricopa AZ can carry out a multitude of tasks, including installing, replacing and testing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings are up to code standards. After finishing an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to be licensed in most municipalities and states. The duration of apprenticeship differs by state, but typically about four to five years of prior experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams typically assess general knowledge and electrical theory, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Receiving certification is also a voluntary means for an electrician to identify him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be obtained in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually entails 3 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) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you choose not only furnishes a strong academic foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification exams that you may need to take in the future.
Attending Electrician Training Classes Online in Maricopa AZ
An alternative that you might have considered is selecting an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online schools are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not entirely internet based. Just about all electrician training programs require partial attendance on-campus to receive practical hands-on training. But since the balance of the classes may be accessed online, distance learning may be a more practical choice for students that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a cheaper tuition cost compared to their on campus counterparts. Commuting costs from Maricopa AZ are also reduced and some of the study materials can be accessed on line also. All of these benefits can make electrician online trade schools more affordable and accessible. And a number are fully accredited, which we will cover in our questions to ask checklist.
Things to Ask Electrician Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Since there are numerous electrician vocational and trade schools in the Maricopa AZ region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. If you are interested in earning an online degree, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in an electrical trade school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Maricopa AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited in order to be approved 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist Maricopa AZ graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many electrician training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with Maricopa AZ area electricians or electrical specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the electrical specialist you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Maricopa AZ electrical contractor if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Maricopa home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience 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 handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Maricopa AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Maricopa AZ area.
Maricopa is a city in the Gila River Valley in Arizona. With an estimated 51,977 residents as of 2018, Maricopa is the second most populous incorporated city in Pinal County and eighteenth most populous in Arizona. Maricopa forms part of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Maricopa has had three locations over the years: Maricopa Wells, Maricopaville and Maricopa Junction; the latter gradually became known as Maricopa. It started as an oasis around a series of watering holes eight miles north of present-day Maricopa, and about a mile west of Pima Butte. European-American traders and travelers called it Maricopa Wells. Several of Arizona’s rivers, the Gila, Santa Cruz, Vekol and Santa Rosa provided this oasis in the desert with an ample supply of water during this period of time.
During the late 1800s, Maricopa Wells was one of the most important relay stations along the San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line and the later more famous Butterfield Overland Mail Route. Although little remains of this once bustling community, it played an important part in the progress and development of the Southwest. It was one of the best-known spots in Arizona during this period of time because it had a reliable source of water, and offered an abundant supply of food. The peaceful Pima and Maricopa farmers who lived and farmed nearby sold supplies to travelers and migrants.
Choose the Right Electrical Technical School near Maricopa AZ
Picking the right electrician training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any electrical tech school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional electrician in Maricopa AZ.
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Electrician School | Electrician Classes and Degree Programs
You can complete your electrician apprenticeship through a number of organizations and employers: Community colleges and vocational/trade schools: Many of the same schools that offer diploma or certificate programs also offer integrated apprenticeships. Private employers; Apprenticeship training centers; S. military; Union apprenticeship programs