How to Become an Electrician in New River Arizona
The initial step to learning to be an electrical tradesman or contractor is locating an electrician trade school near New River AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have found some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only things that should be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final decision when selecting an electrician trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are accessible.
Electrician Diploma, Certificate and Degree Options near New River AZ
There are several options to receive electrician training in a technical or vocational school near New River AZ. You can select a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are obtainable at some schools, but are not as common as the other three options. Frequently these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship, which are mandated by most states in order to become licensed or if you intend to earn certification. Bellow are brief descriptions of the 3 most common programs available.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually provided by Arizona vocational and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They provide a solid foundation and are geared towards individuals who wish to enter an apprenticeship more quickly as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees involve two years to finish and are provided by Arizona community colleges, usually as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They furnish a more well-rounded education while providing the foundation that readies students to begin their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at some Arizona colleges, but are less popular at 4 years than the other shorter programs. Many states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed prior to licensing. For that reason, many students are anxious to start their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in New River AZ can perform a multitude of services, including testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and making sure that the wiring in houses and buildings comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are required to become licensed in most states or municipalities. The period of apprenticeship differs by state, but usually about 4 to 5 years of prior experience is required in order to take the licensing examination. The exams usually test general knowledge and electrical theory, along with understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish him or herself as a skilled and experienced professional. The certifications available vary by state and may be earned in several specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process usually involves 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 crucial that the electrician tech school that you pick not only furnishes a solid academic foundation, but also helps ready you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you may be required to take in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Programs Online in New River AZ
An option that you might have looked at is selecting an online electrician program to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs have become more accepted as a way of attending class without the need for travel, in this instance they are not totally internet based. Virtually all electrician schools require partial attendance on-campus to receive hands-on practical training. But since the rest of the classes can be accessed online, internet learning may be a more accommodating choice for individuals that have limited time for education. And as a bonus numerous online degree programs have a reduced tuition cost compared to their on-campus competitors. Travelling costs from New River AZ are also lessened and some of the study materials can be accessed online as well. Each of these advantages can make online electrician trade schools more affordable and accessible. And many are fully accredited, which we will deal with in our due diligence checklist.
Questions to Ask Electrician Training Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are so many electrician trade and vocational schools in the New River AZ region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that needs to be a feature that your chosen school offers. And while all three qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. A large number of electrician trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the New River AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use 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 New River AZ students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of electrician technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with New River AZ area electricians or electrical contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local New River AZ electrical contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your New River home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near New River AZ, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask 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 New River AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the New River AZ area.
New River, Arizona
New River is named after the seasonal wash of the same name, part of the Agua Fria River system which drains into the Salt River. It was founded by Lord Darrell Duppa in 1868 as a stagecoach stop. For many years it was the terminus of the old Black Canyon Highway (now Interstate 17). The pavement ended in New River and continued as a dirt road to the city of Prescott.
New River is located at 33°52′9″N 112°5′9″W / 33.86917°N 112.08583°W / 33.86917; -112.08583 (33.869149, −112.085759). It is bordered by the Tonto National Forest to the north, Cave Creek to the east, Phoenix to the south, and Anthem to the west. The CDP includes the area known as Desert Hills.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 70.8 square miles (183 km2), of which, 70.8 square miles (183 km2) of it is land and 0.01% is water. It includes both Daisy Mountain and Gavilan Peak.
Choose the Right Electrical Technical School near New River AZ
Selecting the best electrical trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any electrical training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers 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 pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional electrician in New River AZ.
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