How to Pick the Best Plumbing School near Drexel Heights Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Drexel Heights AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final judgment when choosing a plumber training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are offered.
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 ProgramsThere 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
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Drexel Heights AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Drexel Heights AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that 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 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 schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified 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 more extensive list of graduates, which can mean 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Drexel Heights AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most 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. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Drexel Heights AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Drexel Heights 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 Drexel Heights AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added 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 personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Drexel Heights AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Drexel Heights Plumbing Trade School
Selecting the right plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Drexel Heights AZ.