How to Choose the Best Plumbing Technical School near Apache Junction Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Apache Junction AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of points to consider. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that should be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are accessible.
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 Plumbing Technical Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Apache Junction AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Apache Junction AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order 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 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 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Apache Junction AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Apache Junction AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional 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 working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. 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 able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Apache Junction AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Apache Junction AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Choose the Best Apache Junction Plumbing Vocational School
Selecting the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Apache Junction AZ.