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How do I Choose the Best Fiber-Optic School?

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  • Written By: Jessica Reed
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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The best fiber-optic school will offer affordable classes at convenient times, will include a variety of courses involving everything from the basics of fiber-optic technology to repairing and installation, and the school will also be approved by the Fiber-Optic Association (FOA). Approval is crucial to ensure students receive an education that meets the specific criteria and high standards set out by the FOA. Earning certification from an FOA-approved fiber-optic school gives students the peace of mind that they've learned all the necessary skills and safety precautions needed in the field. It also ensures they've covered all the material included on FOA fiber-optics certification exams.

As the fiber-optics field continues to grow, new opportunities for installing and repairing fiber-optic telephone and cable TV lines continue to arise. Students interested in becoming a fiber-optics technician can earn one of many certifications available from a fiber-optic school. These include first level — or first-time membership — FOA certifications, advanced certifications, and specialist certifications.

Students should first check that a school is FOA-approved before looking in to it any further. After checking out its credentials, the student should take a look at the class list and curriculum for the course. Classes should start out with the basics of fiber-optics, physics, and math — all required to understand how the field of fiber-optics works.

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Next the school should move on to advanced classes dealing with the actual installation and repair techniques used on fiber-optics. The classes at a fiber-optic school will cover all the parts of a fiber-optic system and how they work. Classes should also cover the tools needed for installation and proper safety procedures on the job.

Finally, the best fiber-optic school will also require the student to earn a large portion of her credits through lab work. Fiber-optics is a hands-on field, and lab work is essential to understanding and practicing necessary skills. One-on-one interactions with the professor and students will play a role in how well students learn. Schools offering small class sizes of 25 students or fewer are ideal.

After checking out the classes, students should research the professors to ensure they are qualified to teach their respective classes. Typically an FOA-approved school will have credible professors, but a quick check into the professor's credentials is still a smart move. If the professor has taught for several years, he may be listed on a student review website and prospective students can read whether or not he is the best professor to take the class with.

Other factors that may influence a student's choice in fiber-optic schools include the overall cost and class availability. More and more schools now offer training during the day and at night, and other schools offer online classes. Working students, or those with families, might consider night or online classes to work around their busy schedules. Students might also check into the availability of basic math and science courses if they need to brush up on high school skills.

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