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How to Pick the Best Plumbing Technical School near Trussville Alabama

Trussville Alabama plumber repairing kitchen faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Trussville AL. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of points to examine. For instance, many students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that should be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will talk about 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 instructional options that are available.

What is a Plumber?

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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.

Plumber Certificate and Degree Options

There 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 Plumbing Technical Schools

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When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Trussville AL region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before selecting a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Trussville AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade 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 don’t know, 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 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also 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 result in 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Trussville AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Trussville AL plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Trussville AL plumbing contracting company if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Trussville AL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can 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 observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some 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?  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Get More Info About Trussville Plumber Trade Schools

Enroll in the Right Trussville Plumber Vocational School

Picking the right plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing training that you are reviewing 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 instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Trussville AL.