Home >> Alabama >> Vestavia Hills >> Courses For Plumbers


Request Free Info on Plumbing Training Schools Vestavia Hills AL 35209


How to Enroll in the Best Plumber School near Vestavia Hills Alabama

Vestavia Hills Alabama plumber installing kitchen faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Vestavia Hills AL. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are offered.

What is a Plumber?

Vestavia Hills Alabama plumbing contractor adjusting sink pipe

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 Vestavia Hills AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Vestavia Hills 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 Vestavia Hills 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 Programs

There are several educational options available near Vestavia Hills 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.

Topics to Ask Plumber Trade Schools

Vestavia Hills Alabama plumbing contractor repairing water heater

When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Vestavia Hills AL area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing vocational schools have acquired 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 an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Vestavia Hills AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re considering 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 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 Vestavia Hills 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Vestavia Hills AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber trade programs are taught along 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 companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Vestavia Hills AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Vestavia Hills AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Vestavia Hills AL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Vestavia Hills AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Get More Info About Vestavia Hills Plumbing Tech Schools

Choose the Right Vestavia Hills Plumber Training School

Picking the ideal plumbing training program 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 things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumber training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Vestavia Hills AL.