How to Find the Best Plumber Training School near Chandler Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Chandler AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting a plumber training school. We will talk about that checklist in more 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 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.
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 Trade Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Because there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Chandler AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Chandler AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated 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 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 looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Chandler AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Chandler AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Chandler AZ plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Chandler AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added 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 individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Chandler AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chandler AZ, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Best Chandler Plumbing Vocational School
Choosing the right plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumbing training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration 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. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak 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 training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Chandler AZ.