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How to Select the Best Plumbing Course near Chandler Arizona

Chandler Arizona plumbing contractor fixing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Chandler AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of points to examine. For instance, many students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when choosing a plumber training school. We will talk about 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?

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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 Programs

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.

Questions to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools

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Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Chandler AZ school is 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 get a superior education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure 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 technical and vocational programs 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 referring partnerships with local Chandler AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical 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 school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. 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 contracting company if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Chandler AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to 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 personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak 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?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating 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 options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows 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 Vocational Schools

Pick the Best Chandler Plumbing Trade School

Picking the best plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Chandler AZ.