Home >> Alabama >> Mobile >> Plumbing Training


Get Free Info on Plumbing Schools Mobile AL 36571


How to Select the Best Plumbing Training Course near Mobile Alabama

Mobile Alabama plumber installing sink faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Mobile AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing a plumber training school. We will talk about 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 instructional options that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

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

  • Apprentice. The majority of Mobile 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 Mobile 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 Options

There are several educational options available near Mobile 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 Plumber Technical Schools

Mobile Alabama plumbing contractor installing water heater

Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Mobile AL region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Mobile AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.

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 controlled and regulated 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 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 Mobile 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 complete the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Mobile AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Mobile AL plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Mobile AL plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Mobile AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may 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 monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Mobile AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Mobile AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Mobile Plumbing Training Schools

Enroll in the Best Mobile Plumber Trade School

Selecting the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumbing training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Mobile AL.