How to Enroll in the Best Plumber Technical School near Apache Junction Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Apache Junction AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of points to consider. For example, many students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that should be evaluated. Also critical 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 decision when selecting a plumber training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices 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.
Plumber Certificate and Degree 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.
Topics to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma 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 region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Apache Junction AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring 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 qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Apache Junction AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Apache Junction AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Apache Junction AZ plumbing company if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Apache Junction AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging 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 teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some 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? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, verify that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Apache Junction Plumber Training School
Choosing the right plumbing training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Apache Junction AZ.