How to Enroll in the Best Plumber Technical School near Chandler Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Chandler AZ. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For example, some potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that should be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final decision when choosing a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are available.
What is 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 OptionsThere 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 Tech Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Chandler AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
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 typically regulated and controlled 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 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 finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in 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 additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Chandler AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Chandler AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Chandler AZ plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, 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 relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult 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 instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Chandler AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, check that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Chandler Plumber Trade School
Picking the best plumbing 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 things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal 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 a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Chandler AZ.