Home >> Alabama >> Alabaster >> Plumber Trades Schools


Request Free Info on Plumbing Schools Alabaster AL 35007


How to Find the Right Plumbing Course near Alabaster Alabama

Alabaster Alabama plumbing contractor replacing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Alabaster AL. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many points to evaluate. For example, some students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located several that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

Alabaster Alabama plumber adjusting water pipe

Almost everyone at one time or another has needed the services of a professional plumber.  It may have been due to a leaky faucet or perhaps a hot water heater needed to be replaced.  Plumbers provide a valuable service for the maintenance of both commercial and residential buildings.  They are skilled tradesmen who are trained in the installation, repair and replacement of plumbing systems.  These systems include pipes, plumbing fixtures, water based heating and cooling, sewage removal and sprinklers.  A local Alabaster AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Alabaster AL plumbers begin their careers as an Apprentice.  Apprenticeships are often completed in tandem with a formalized plumbing training program.  Apprentices are typically paid but unlicensed and work under the guidance of a licensed plumber during working hours and attend plumber training classes at night.  The second phase of their career begins once the apprenticeship and the training program have been completed.
  • Journeyman Plumber. Once the apprenticeship has been completed as well as any required training program, application for Journeyman Plumber licensing can be made.  Most often licensing is controlled by the state but can be managed more locally at the county or city level.  A Journeyman license will only be issued after all requirements have been met, including a passing score on the licensing exam. Even though a Journeyman is more knowledgeable and experienced than an Apprentice, they generally must continue to be supervised, in this case by a Master Plumber.
  • Master Plumber. After attaining the necessary work experience and completing any additional educational requirements, the Journeyman can apply to become a Master Plumber.  Once again a passing score must be achieved on the licensing exam before a license will be issued.  There are several benefits to advancing to the Master Plumber level, including earnings at the highest pay level, unsupervised working conditions, and the ability to start and own a business.  Master Plumbers may also hire and supervise both Journeymen and Apprentices.

As a technical field requiring a high level of skill and competence, plumbing can take years of both training and experience to master.  As a consequence, the best opportunity for success for a new Apprentice in Alabaster AL is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.

Plumbing Degree and Certificate Options

There are several educational options available near Alabaster AL to receive the necessary training to begin your career as a plumber.  As far as the schools offering programs, you can enroll in a trade, technical or vocational school as well as a local community college.  The programs offered will vary, but in general the shortest is the certificate program which will focus on the fundamentals and generally take about a year to complete.  An Associate Degree will take 2 years to complete and will provide a more comprehensive education.  There are some colleges that do offer a Bachelor Degree in plumbing technology, which are 4 year programs and much broader in nature.  When choosing a school and program, naturally the completion time and the cost will be important factors.  Tuition can vary significantly among the various schools and colleges and for some private schools can be quite expensive.  State schools and community colleges typically offer their programs at the lower end of the tuition scale.  However, when making your comparisons, keep in mind that many schools offer financial aid and even scholarships to help offset some of the financial burden.  So be sure to find out what is available for each school and program before making your final decision.

Questions to Ask Plumber Tech Schools

Alabaster Alabama plumbing contractor replacing hot water heater

Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Alabaster AL region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Alabaster AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education.  If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates its licensing and then verify that it’s up to date.

How Long has the School been in Business?  Another means of determining the quality of a technical school is to find out how long it’s been in business.  The longer a school has been in operation, the more likely that its programs are highly rated and regarded. Conversely, schools that are not well regarded or that provide low quality training generally don’t stand the test of time.  However, keep in mind that even the best of Alabaster AL schools had to start from their first day of operation, so only use it as one of several qualifications for each school you are considering.

What are the School’s Completion and Placement Rates?  Ask the plumbing training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Alabaster AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Alabaster AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools 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, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Alabaster AL plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Alabaster AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much individualized 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 observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Alabaster AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Alabaster AL, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Get More Info About Alabaster Plumbing Trade Schools

Choose the Right Alabaster Plumbing Trade School

Choosing the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Alabaster AL.