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How to Choose the Right Plumbing Training near Anthem Arizona

Anthem Arizona plumber repairing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Anthem AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many variables to examine. For example, some potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will talk about 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 instructional options that are offered.

Becoming 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.

Plumber 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 Plumber Tech Schools

Anthem Arizona plumbing contractor repairing hot water heater

When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Anthem AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Anthem AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 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 training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Anthem AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Anthem AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies 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 equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Anthem AZ plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Anthem AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees 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 few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Anthem AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Anthem AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Learn More About Anthem Plumber Tech Schools

Enroll in the Right Anthem Plumber Trade School

Picking the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Anthem AZ.