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How to Enroll in the Best Plumber Tech School near Buckeye Arizona

Buckeye Arizona plumbing contractor installing kitchen faucetThe initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Buckeye AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many points to examine. For instance, some potential students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when picking a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are available.

What is a Plumber?

Buckeye Arizona plumber adjusting sink pipe

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 Buckeye AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Buckeye 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 Buckeye 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 Programs

There are several educational options available near Buckeye 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.

Points to Ask Plumber Technical Schools

Buckeye Arizona plumbing contractor repairing hot water heater

Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Buckeye AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Buckeye AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking 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 Buckeye 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Buckeye AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Buckeye AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Buckeye AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Buckeye AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Buckeye AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Buckeye Plumbing Training Schools

Enroll in the Right Buckeye Plumber Trade School

Picking the ideal plumber trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour 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, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Buckeye AZ.