Home >> Alabama >> Madison >> Plumber Trades Schools


Request Free Info on Plumber Training Madison AL 35756


How to Select the Best Plumbing Training Course near Madison Alabama

Madison Alabama plumber repairing kitchen sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Madison AL. But with so many technical 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 points to consider. For instance, many students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement 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 article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

Madison 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 Madison AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Madison 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 Madison 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 Options

There are several educational options available near Madison 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 Plumbing Training Schools

Madison Alabama plumbing contractor replacing water heater

Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Madison AL region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational schools have attained 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 relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Madison AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking 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 Madison 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also essential 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Madison AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Madison AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Madison AL plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Madison AL residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Madison AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Madison AL, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Find Out More About Madison Plumbing Trade Schools

Pick the Right Madison Plumbing Training School

Selecting the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Madison AL.