How to Pick the Right Plumber School near El Mirage Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near El Mirage AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many variables to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located several that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that should be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when choosing a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are available.
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 El Mirage AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of El Mirage 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 El Mirage 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 El Mirage 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the El Mirage AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the El Mirage AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually 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 El Mirage 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the El Mirage AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local El Mirage AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local El Mirage AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your El Mirage AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger 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. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in El Mirage AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Get More Info About El Mirage Plumber Tech Schools
Enroll in the Right El Mirage Plumber Trade School
Picking the right plumber trade school will undoubtedly 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 considering. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in El Mirage AZ.