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How to Select the Best Plumber Training near Trussville Alabama

Trussville Alabama plumbing contractor replacing kitchen faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding 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 best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, many students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when picking a plumber trade school. We will discuss 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 offered.

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 Degree and Certificate 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.

Things to Ask Plumber Training Schools

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Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because 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 discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Trussville AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.

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 making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually controlled and regulated 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Trussville AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber training 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 considering have working relationships with local Trussville AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment 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, talk to 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 provide some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Trussville AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added 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 individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Trussville AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Get More Info About Trussville Plumbing Vocational Schools

Enroll in the Best Trussville Plumber Training School

Choosing the right plumber trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour 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, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Trussville AL.