How to Find the Right Plumber Course near Anniston Alabama
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Anniston AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For example, some potential students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when picking a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are offered.
What is a Plumber?
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 Anniston AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Anniston 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 Anniston AL is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.
Plumber Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are several educational options available near Anniston 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.
Topics to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Anniston AL region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Anniston AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education. If you don’t know, 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 Anniston 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 schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct 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 alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Anniston AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Anniston AL plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there 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 working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Anniston AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Anniston AL home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Anniston AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Anniston AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Anniston Plumbing Training School
Choosing the right plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Anniston AL.