How to Choose the Best Plumbing Trade School near Trussville Alabama
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Trussville AL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many factors to examine. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have found some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are available.
What is 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 Trussville AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Trussville 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 Trussville 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 OptionsThere are several educational options available near Trussville 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 Vocational Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Trussville AL region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Trussville AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure 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 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 Trussville 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Trussville AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Trussville AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Trussville AL plumbing contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Trussville AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Trussville AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Trussville AL, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Find Out More About Trussville Plumbing Vocational Schools
Pick the Best Trussville Plumber Vocational School
Picking the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Trussville AL.