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How to Pick the Best Plumbing Trade School near Chandler Arizona

Chandler Arizona plumbing contractor installing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Chandler AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to consider. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when selecting a plumber training school. We will discuss 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 instructional choices that are available.

Becoming a Plumber

Chandler Arizona plumber fixing 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 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 Options

There 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.

What to Ask Plumber Training Schools

Chandler Arizona plumber repairing water heater

When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous 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 first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before choosing a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Chandler AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training course 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 trade school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually regulated and controlled 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 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 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Chandler AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Chandler AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Chandler AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Chandler AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger 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 to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn 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 schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out More About Chandler Plumber Vocational Schools

Choose the Right Chandler Plumbing Trade School

Choosing the right plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a necessity that any plumbing training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Chandler AZ.