How to Enroll in the Right Plumber Tech School near Anthem Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Anthem AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to consider. For instance, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole things that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are available.
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 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 OptionsThere 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Anthem AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Anthem AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational 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 Arizona Department of Education. If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency is responsible for 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 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 training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified 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 list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Anthem AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical 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 considering have referring partnerships with local Anthem AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides 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 instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Anthem AZ plumbing company 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 Anthem AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Anthem AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Anthem AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Pick the Best Anthem Plumbing Training School
Choosing the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Anthem AZ.