How to Find the Right Plumbing Vocational School near Trussville Alabama
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Trussville AL. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many factors to examine. For instance, many students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in more 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 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 Certificate and Degree 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.
Points to Ask Plumber Tech Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Trussville AL region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Trussville AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually 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 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 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 considering 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 might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors 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 can produce more contacts for the school to use 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 help students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Trussville AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Trussville AL plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Trussville AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Trussville AL home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Trussville AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, check that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows 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 Training Schools
Choose the Right Trussville Plumbing Trade School
Selecting the ideal plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses 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 serve your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Trussville AL.