How to Choose the Best Plumber Vocational School near Drexel Heights Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Drexel Heights AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many variables to consider. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest 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, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are accessible.
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 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 Certificate and Degree OptionsThere 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.
Topics to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain 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 Drexel Heights AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Drexel Heights AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing 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 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 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Drexel Heights AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Drexel Heights AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning 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 can move, 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 can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Drexel Heights AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Drexel Heights Plumbing Vocational School
Choosing the right plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way 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 school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Drexel Heights AZ.