How to Select the Right Plumbing Training School near Avondale Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Avondale AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have located some that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational 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 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 ProgramsThere 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.
Things to Ask Plumber Tech Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Avondale AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical programs have received 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. Confirm that the Avondale AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational 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 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 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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Avondale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most 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 contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Avondale AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Avondale AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Avondale 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 fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Avondale AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Learn More About Avondale Plumber Vocational Schools
Choose the Right Avondale Plumbing Training School
Picking the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumber training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on 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 proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Avondale AZ.