How to Find the Right Plumbing Course near Juneau Alaska
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Juneau AK. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many points to consider. For instance, many potential students will commence 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 lowest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole things that must be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting a plumbing training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.
Becoming 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 Juneau AK plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Juneau 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 Juneau 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 ProgramsThere are several educational options available near Juneau 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Juneau AK region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Juneau AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically 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 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 Juneau 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Juneau 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 technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Juneau AK plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Juneau AK plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Juneau AK residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much one-on-one 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 see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Juneau AK and what certifications or degrees 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 can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, verify that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Juneau Plumber Vocational School
Picking the ideal plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak 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 training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Juneau AK.