Home >> Alabama >> Phenix City >> How To Become A Plumber


Request Free Info on Plumbing Training Courses Phenix City AL 36867


How to Select the Best Plumber Course near Phenix City Alabama

Phenix City Alabama plumbing contractor fixing sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Phenix City AL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole things that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

Phenix City Alabama plumber fixing water 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 Phenix City AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Phenix City 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 Phenix City AL is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.

Plumbing Certificate and Degree Programs

There are several educational options available near Phenix City 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 Trade Schools

Phenix City Alabama plumber installing hot water heater

Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Phenix City AL region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Phenix City AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if 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 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 Phenix City 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Phenix City AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber training 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 contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Phenix City AL plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Phenix City AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Phenix City AL residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Phenix City AL and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Phenix City AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Get More Info About Phenix City Plumbing Training Schools

Enroll in the Right Phenix City Plumber Trade School

Picking the best plumber training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed 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 plumber training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the 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 best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Phenix City AL.