How to Find the Right Plumbing Training Course near Juneau Alaska
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Juneau AK. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will talk about 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.
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 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 OptionsThere 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Juneau AK region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Juneau AK program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Alaska 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 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Juneau AK area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Juneau AK plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Juneau AK plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school must be within driving distance of your Juneau AK residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Juneau AK and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Juneau AK, 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. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Pick the Best Juneau Plumber Training School
Selecting the best plumbing training program will probably be the most critical 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 examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Juneau AK.