Home >> Alabama >> East Florence >> Plumber Training


Request Free Info on Plumbing Training Schools East Florence AL 35630


How to Find the Right Plumbing Trade School near East Florence Alabama

East Florence Alabama plumber fixing kitchen faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near East Florence AL. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of factors to examine. For instance, some students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are available.

Becoming a Plumber

East Florence Alabama plumbing contractor 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 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.

Plumbing Degree and Certificate Programs

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.

What to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools

East Florence Alabama plumber replacing hot water heater

When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the East Florence AL area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the East Florence AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education.  If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency is responsible for 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct 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 produce 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 employment in the East Florence AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local East Florence AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local East Florence AL plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your East Florence 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 important that you receive as much individualized training 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 observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in East Florence 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 meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near East Florence AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, 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 because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Learn More About East Florence Plumbing Vocational Schools

Enroll in the Right East Florence Plumbing Training School

Picking the best plumbing 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 many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in East Florence AL.