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How to Pick the Right Plumber School near Chandler Arizona

Chandler Arizona plumbing contractor installing kitchen faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Chandler AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, many students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that must 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 ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are offered.

What is a Plumber?

Chandler Arizona plumbing contractor repairing water 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 Certificate and Degree 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.

Topics to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools

Chandler Arizona plumber repairing hot water heater

When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Chandler AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically 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 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also essential 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Chandler AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor 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 valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment 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, talk to the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Chandler AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Chandler AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Chandler AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Learn More About Chandler Plumbing Tech Schools

Pick the Best Chandler Plumbing Training School

Picking the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are considering. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Chandler AZ.