How to Choose the Best Plumber Technical School near Montgomery Alabama
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Montgomery AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many points to consider. For instance, many prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when picking a plumbing training 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 educational choices that are accessible.
Becoming a Plumber
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 Montgomery AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Montgomery 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 Montgomery 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 OptionsThere are several educational options available near Montgomery 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Montgomery AL region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Montgomery AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering 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 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 Montgomery 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 program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Montgomery AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber technical programs are taught along 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 businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Montgomery AL plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local 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 working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Montgomery AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Montgomery AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Montgomery AL and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Montgomery AL, check that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Montgomery Plumber Tech Schools
Pick the Right Montgomery Plumber Vocational School
Selecting the ideal plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Montgomery AL.