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How to Pick the Best Plumbing Training Course near Drexel Heights Arizona

Drexel Heights Arizona plumbing contractor replacing kitchen faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Drexel Heights AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For instance, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found some that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional 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 Drexel Heights AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Drexel Heights 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 Drexel Heights AZ is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.

Plumber Degree and Certificate Programs

There are several educational options available near Drexel Heights 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 Plumbing Training Schools

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Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Drexel Heights AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive 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. Make certain that the Drexel Heights AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to 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’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Drexel Heights 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Drexel Heights AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Drexel Heights AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form 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 state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently 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 Drexel Heights AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Drexel Heights AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Drexel Heights AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Drexel Heights Plumber Training Schools

Pick the Right Drexel Heights Plumber Training School

Selecting the right plumbing training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. 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, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Drexel Heights AZ.