How to Pick the Right Plumber Training School near Chandler Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Chandler AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of factors to consider. For example, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have found a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing a plumbing trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are offered.
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 Degree and Certificate OptionsThere 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Chandler AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing 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 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 training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Chandler AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Chandler AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently 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 Chandler AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving 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 higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get 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 big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Chandler AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, check that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Chandler Plumbing Trade School
Choosing the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date 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 degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Chandler AZ.