How to Enroll in the Best Plumber School near Apache Junction Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Apache Junction AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, many prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional 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.
Plumber Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere 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 Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Apache Junction AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on 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 program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated 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 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 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Apache Junction AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Apache Junction AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job 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, talk to 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 provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing 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 relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Apache Junction AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out 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 Training School
Picking the right plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some 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 right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Apache Junction AZ.