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How to Pick the Right Plumber Training near Casa Grande Arizona

Casa Grande Arizona plumber fixing kitchen faucetThe initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Casa Grande AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, many students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that should be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when picking a plumber training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

Casa Grande Arizona plumbing contractor fixing water 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 Casa Grande AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Casa Grande 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 Casa Grande AZ is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.

Plumber Degree and Certificate Programs

There are several educational options available near Casa Grande 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 Technical Schools

Casa Grande Arizona plumbing contractor repairing hot water heater

Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Casa Grande AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Casa Grande AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing 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 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 Casa Grande 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors 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 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 will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Casa Grande AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of 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 inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Casa Grande AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Casa Grande AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Casa Grande AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to 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 one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Casa Grande AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Find Out More About Casa Grande Plumber Trade Schools

Choose the Best Casa Grande Plumber Training School

Picking the right plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. 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 choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Casa Grande AZ.