How to Choose the Right Plumber Trade School near Apache Junction Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Apache Junction AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, some students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located several that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only things that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are offered.
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 Degree and Certificate 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.
What to Ask Plumber Tech Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Apache Junction AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Apache Junction AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can mean 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 a good reputation within the industry, but also 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 vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring 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 furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Apache Junction AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Apache Junction AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn 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 evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Learn More About Apache Junction Plumber Vocational Schools
Enroll in the Right Apache Junction Plumbing Vocational School
Selecting the right plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumber tech school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own 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 differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Apache Junction AZ.