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How to Pick the Right Plumbing Training near Casa Grande Arizona

Casa Grande Arizona plumber replacing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Casa Grande AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For instance, many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found some that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final decision when picking a plumber training school. We will address 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?

Casa Grande 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 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 Certificate and Degree Options

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.

Points to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools

Casa Grande Arizona plumbing contractor repairing hot water heater

When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Casa Grande AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn 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 Casa Grande AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 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 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 might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Casa Grande AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Casa Grande AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Casa Grande AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Casa Grande AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Casa Grande AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Find Out More About Casa Grande Plumber Training Schools

Pick the Right Casa Grande Plumber Vocational School

Picking the best plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Casa Grande AZ.