How to Pick the Right Plumbing Tech School near Avondale Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Avondale AZ. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to examine. For instance, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that should be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when selecting a plumbing training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are offered.
Becoming 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 Avondale AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Avondale 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 Avondale 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 Avondale 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 Plumber Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Avondale AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Avondale AZ program and school are 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 receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually 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 Avondale 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 program. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Avondale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Avondale AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Avondale AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Avondale AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Avondale AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Avondale AZ, confirm 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 allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Right Avondale Plumber Trade School
Selecting the ideal plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Avondale AZ.