How to Pick the Best Plumbing School near Bullhead City Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Bullhead City AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, many students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final judgment when selecting a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options 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 Bullhead City AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Bullhead City 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 Bullhead City 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 OptionsThere are several educational options available near Bullhead City 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.
Questions to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Bullhead City AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive 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. Verify that the Bullhead City AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some 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, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you’re not sure, 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 Bullhead City 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher 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 will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Bullhead City AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught along 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 companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Bullhead City AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Bullhead City AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Bullhead City AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Bullhead City AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Find Out More About Bullhead City Plumbing Training Schools
Pick the Best Bullhead City Plumbing Trade School
Choosing the ideal plumber training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It's a necessity that any plumber tech school that you are evaluating 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 education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training 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 satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few 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 proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Bullhead City AZ.