Home >> Alaska >> Eagle River >> Plumber Trades Schools


Request Free Info on Plumbing Training Schools Eagle River AK 99577


How to Enroll in the Best Plumbing Training near Eagle River Alaska

Eagle River Alaska plumbing contractor replacing sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Eagle River AK. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many factors to evaluate. For instance, many prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that need to be considered. Also critical 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 ultimate judgment when selecting 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 educational choices that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

Eagle River Alaska plumbing contractor repairing water 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 Eagle River AK plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Eagle River AK 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 Eagle River AK 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 Programs

There are several educational options available near Eagle River AK 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 Tech Schools

Eagle River Alaska plumber replacing hot water heater

Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Eagle River AK region, it's essential 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 while both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Eagle River AK school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.

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 usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Alaska Department of Education.  If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Eagle River AK 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Eagle River AK area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction 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 companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Eagle River AK plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art 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. Otherwise, ask a local Eagle River AK plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Eagle River AK home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Eagle River AK and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Eagle River AK, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer 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 due to work, illness or family issues.

Get More Info About Eagle River Plumbing Training Schools

Choose the Right Eagle River Plumber Training School

Choosing the right plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Eagle River AK.