Home >> Alabama >> Prichard >> Plumbing Courses


Get Free Info on Plumber Training Courses Prichard AL 36571


How to Find the Right Plumber Course near Prichard Alabama

Prichard Alabama plumbing contractor installing sink faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Prichard AL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, some students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have found several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole things that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

Prichard Alabama plumbing contractor adjusting 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 Prichard AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Prichard 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 Prichard 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 Options

There are several educational options available near Prichard 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.

Things to Ask Plumber Trade Schools

Prichard Alabama plumber repairing water heater

When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Prichard AL area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing trade schools have earned 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 an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Prichard AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with 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 controlled and regulated 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 Prichard 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified 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 alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Prichard AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Prichard AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date 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. If not, ask a local Prichard AL plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Prichard AL residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Prichard AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prichard AL, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Get More Info About Prichard Plumbing Trade Schools

Pick the Right Prichard Plumber Vocational School

Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Prichard AL.