How to Enroll in the Best Plumbing Training near Trussville Alabama
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Trussville AL. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many points to examine. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are accessible.
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.
What to Ask Plumber Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Trussville AL area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Trussville AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 considering 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 don’t know, 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 schools you are considering 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 could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct 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 list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Trussville AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Trussville AL plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Trussville AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must 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 increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult 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 with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to 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? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle 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 considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Learn More About Trussville Plumbing Trade Schools
Enroll in the Best Trussville Plumbing Vocational School
Selecting the right plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Trussville AL.