Home >> Alabama >> East Florence >> Courses For Plumbers


Request Free Info on Plumbing Training Classes East Florence AL 35630


How to Choose the Best Plumber Course near East Florence Alabama

East Florence Alabama plumbing contractor installing kitchen sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near East Florence AL. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of factors to examine. For instance, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting a plumber trade 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 training choices that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

East Florence Alabama plumber 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 East Florence AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of East Florence 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 East Florence 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 Options

There are several educational options available near East Florence 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.

Things to Ask Plumbing Training Schools

East Florence Alabama plumber installing hot water heater

When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the East Florence AL area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the East Florence AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.

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 making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually 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 East Florence 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the East Florence AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local East Florence AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional 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 using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local East Florence AL plumbing contracting company if they can give you some tips.

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

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in East Florence AL and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near East Florence AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Learn More About East Florence Plumber Training Schools

Pick the Right East Florence Plumber Trade School

Picking the right plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in East Florence AL.