How to Choose the Right Plumbing Training near Apache Junction Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Apache Junction AZ. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk 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 Apache Junction AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Apache Junction 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 Apache Junction 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 Apache Junction 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Apache Junction AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though 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 additional qualifications that you will need to research before selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Apache Junction AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you don’t know, 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 Apache Junction 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 low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct 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 mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Apache Junction AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Apache Junction AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Apache Junction AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Apache Junction AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Apache Junction AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Apache Junction Plumbing Trade School
Choosing the ideal plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak 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 program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Apache Junction AZ.