How to Choose the Right Plumbing Tech School near Chandler Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Chandler AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many points to consider. For instance, many potential students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have found some that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are accessible.
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 Chandler AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Chandler 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 Chandler 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 ProgramsThere are several educational options available near Chandler 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 Vocational Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Chandler AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Chandler AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional 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 don’t know, ask the school which state agency regulates its licensing and then check to ensure 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 Chandler 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Chandler AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools 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 partnerships with local Chandler AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form 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 using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Chandler AZ plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Chandler AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Chandler AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Pick the Right Chandler Plumbing Trade School
Picking the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal 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. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Chandler AZ.