How to Pick the Right Plumbing Tech School near Chandler Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Chandler AZ. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when selecting a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are available.
Becoming 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.
Plumbing 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.
What to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain 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. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another 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 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 training programs you are looking at 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 suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers 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 broader list of alumni, which can mean 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Chandler AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught in conjunction 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. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Chandler AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area 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 on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Chandler AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Chandler AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some 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? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Find Out More About Chandler Plumber Training Schools
Choose the Best Chandler Plumbing Vocational School
Choosing the ideal plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique options 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 sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Chandler AZ.