How to Choose the Best Plumbing Trade School near Drexel Heights Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Drexel Heights AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many variables to examine. For instance, some students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the only things that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when selecting a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional 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 Degree and Certificate 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 Plumber Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Drexel Heights AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Drexel Heights AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another 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 don’t know, 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Drexel Heights AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Drexel Heights AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional 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 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. If not, ask a local Drexel Heights AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Drexel Heights AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Drexel Heights AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure 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 Drexel Heights AZ, check that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights Plumbing Vocational School
Selecting the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Drexel Heights AZ.