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How to Enroll in the Best Plumbing Training near Apache Junction Arizona

Apache Junction Arizona plumbing contractor installing kitchen sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Apache Junction AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of factors to consider. For example, many potential students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found several that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only things that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are available.

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 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.

Plumber Certificate and Degree Options

There 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.

Topics to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools

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Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Apache Junction AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains 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 acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure 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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Apache Junction AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools 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 partnerships with local Apache Junction AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art 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 under regarding 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 relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Apache Junction AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might 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 couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Apache Junction AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, check that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Find Out More About Apache Junction Plumbing Trade Schools

Pick the Best Apache Junction Plumbing Training School

Choosing the best plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumber tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Apache Junction AZ.