Home >> Alabama >> Dothan >> Plumbing Training


Get Free Info on Plumbing Trade Schools Dothan AL 36301


How to Select the Best Plumbing Vocational School near Dothan Alabama

Dothan Alabama plumber installing kitchen faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Dothan AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only things that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are accessible.

Becoming a Plumber

Dothan Alabama plumbing contractor fixing 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 Dothan AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Dothan 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 Dothan AL is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.

Plumber Certificate and Degree Programs

There are several educational options available near Dothan 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 Technical Schools

Dothan Alabama plumbing contractor replacing hot water heater

Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Dothan AL area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing technical schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Dothan AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure 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 is responsible for 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 Dothan 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 program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Dothan AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction 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 trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Dothan AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment 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, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Dothan AL plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Dothan AL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Dothan AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Dothan AL, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Find Out More About Dothan Plumbing Trade Schools

Pick the Best Dothan Plumbing Training School

Picking the ideal plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumbing training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Dothan AL.