Home >> Alabama >> Decatur >> Training For Plumbers


Get Free Info on Plumbing Training Courses Decatur AL 35601


How to Enroll in the Best Plumbing Training Course near Decatur Alabama

Decatur Alabama plumber installing sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Decatur AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, some students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located several that are within driving range, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final decision when picking a plumbing training 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 a plumber and the educational options that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

Decatur Alabama plumber repairing sink 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 Decatur AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Decatur 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 Decatur 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 Programs

There are several educational options available near Decatur 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.

Points to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools

Decatur Alabama plumber repairing hot water heater

When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Decatur AL area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before enrolling in a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Decatur AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking 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 check to ensure 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 Decatur 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train 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 may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Decatur AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Decatur AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools 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 with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Decatur AL plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Decatur AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Decatur AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Decatur AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Get More Info About Decatur Plumber Tech Schools

Enroll in the Right Decatur Plumbing Trade School

Selecting the right plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing tech school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Decatur AL.