Home >> Alabama >> Pelham >> Plumbing Classes


Request Free Info on Plumbing Schools Pelham AL 35007


How to Choose the Best Plumber Training near Pelham Alabama

Pelham Alabama plumbing contractor repairing sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Pelham AL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that must be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

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

  • Apprentice. The majority of Pelham 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 Pelham 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 Pelham 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

Pelham Alabama plumbing contractor repairing water heater

Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Pelham AL area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. 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 added qualifications that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can 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 Pelham AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering 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’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Pelham 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 complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers 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 directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Pelham AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Pelham AL plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Pelham AL plumbing contractor if they can give you some tips.

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

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Pelham AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pelham AL, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 responsibilities.

Find Out More About Pelham Plumbing Tech Schools

Enroll in the Best Pelham Plumbing Trade School

Choosing the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Pelham AL.