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How to Pick the Right Plumber Tech School near Anthem Arizona

Anthem Arizona plumbing contractor fixing kitchen faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Anthem AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of variables to consider. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only things that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your final decision when selecting a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.

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 Anthem AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Anthem AZ 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 Anthem AZ is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.

Plumbing Certificate and Degree Options

There are several educational options available near Anthem AZ 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 Plumbing Technical Schools

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When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Anthem AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Anthem AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational 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 Arizona Department of Education.  If you don’t know, 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 Anthem AZ 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Anthem AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Anthem AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Anthem AZ plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Anthem AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Anthem AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Anthem AZ, check that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Anthem Plumbing Training Schools

Pick the Right Anthem Plumber Training School

Picking the ideal plumbing training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumber training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Anthem AZ.