Home >> Alabama >> Homewood >> Plumbing Schools Near Me


Request Free Info on Plumbing Training Homewood AL 35209


How to Choose the Best Plumber Technical School near Homewood Alabama

Homewood Alabama plumbing contractor fixing kitchen faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Homewood AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to examine. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located some that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when choosing a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

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

  • Apprentice. The majority of Homewood 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 Homewood 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 Homewood 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 Technical Schools

Homewood Alabama plumber installing hot water heater

Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Homewood AL area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Homewood AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many 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, an additional way of determining if 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 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 Homewood 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 low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Homewood AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Homewood AL plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Homewood AL plumbing company if they can provide some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Homewood AL home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Homewood AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Homewood AL, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Get More Info About Homewood Plumbing Trade Schools

Choose the Right Homewood Plumbing Trade School

Choosing the right plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Homewood AL.