Based on recent statistics, electrician jobs in the state of Arizona are expected to increase by 49.1% up to 2024 according to the US Department of Labor. With flexible working hours, excellent income range, and a number of fruitful opportunities, starting a career as an electrician might be the one for you.
Additionally, the state’s economy is quite stable while the rate of unemployment continues to decline ever since the recession back in 2008. With the boom in the housing market, it simply means that a lot of commercial and residential buildings will require more wiring. In other words, now is the perfect time to pursue the electrician career. The question is, how?
Obtaining Appropriate Hands-on Training and Education
If you want to start a career as an electrician, you should first gain appropriate experience by enrolling in a multi-year training program which consists of hands-on training and education. You need to have at least 5 years or 8,000 hours of hands-on experience and 900 hours of classroom education if you want to obtain an electrical contractor license.
There are two ways to acquire the hours needed for the educational requirement. They are as follows:
- Apprenticeship Programs
You can enroll in one of the two Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees in the state that provide apprenticeship programs via the Electrical Training Alliance. This is a partnership created by the Arizona Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Alliance and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union.
- Vocational-Technical School
You can also obtain your career diploma or electrician certificate from a vocational-technical school. By doing so, you will be able to obtain the most comprehensive classroom training there is. There are lots of programs that provide job placement services to help you connect with local employers who are willing to accept apprentices. Through this, you can obtain the necessary hands-on experience you need.
You can also decide to enroll in an apprenticeship program provided by non-union organizations such as the Arizona Builders Alliance and the Independent Electrical Contractors of Southern Arizona or the Independent Electrical Contractors Association of Arizona.
During your apprenticeship period, you will work under the supervision of a local electrical contractor. You have to render full-time work and obtain on-the-job training. At the same time, you need to take night classes in order to meet the classroom education requirement.
Getting Experience after the Apprenticeship Period
There are no regulations when it comes to electricians upon completing their apprenticeship period. Additionally, most counties and cities throughout the state don’t have any license requirements.
If you want to work as an independent electrical contractor in Arizona, you are required to have post-apprenticeship experience first. There are a number of local apprenticeship programs that also offer journeyman certification. However, this isn’t equivalent to a license which you can obtain via a state or municipal government agency.
Getting an Independent Electrical Contractor License
Once you have obtained appropriate experience working as a professional electrician, you may then decide to apply for an independent electrical contractor license. There are three licensing options to choose from: dual license, specialty commercial license, and specialty residential license. You can get one from the State Registrar of Contractors.