How to Find the Right Plumbing Training Course 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 choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, many potential students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located some that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that should be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are available.
Becoming 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.
Plumbing 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.
Things to Ask Plumber Training Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Drexel Heights AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Drexel Heights AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to 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 usually controlled and regulated 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 schools 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 could suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads secure 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 trade and vocational programs 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 working relationships with local Drexel Heights AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Drexel Heights AZ plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Drexel Heights AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Drexel Heights AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, verify that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Drexel Heights Plumbing Trade School
Choosing the right plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumber training that you are considering 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 needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Drexel Heights AZ.