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How to Enroll in the Right Plumber School near Drexel Heights Arizona

Drexel Heights Arizona plumbing contractor fixing kitchen faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Drexel Heights AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of factors to consider. For example, some prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when choosing a plumbing training 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 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.

Plumbing Certificate and Degree Options

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.

Questions to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools

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Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Drexel Heights AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing technical schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Drexel Heights AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking 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 schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Drexel Heights AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Drexel Heights AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Confirm that the school 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Drexel Heights AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Drexel Heights AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers 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 evaluating 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, check that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Get More Info About Drexel Heights Plumber Training Schools

Enroll in the Best Drexel Heights Plumber Training School

Picking the right plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing tech school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Drexel Heights AZ.