How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing Vocational School near El Mirage Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near El Mirage AZ. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many points to examine. For instance, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that must be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.
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 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.
Plumber Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere 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.
Questions to Ask Plumber Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the El Mirage AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the El Mirage AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it 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 controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 looking at 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 signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also mean 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 alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment in the El Mirage AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local El Mirage AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local El Mirage AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your El Mirage AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in El Mirage 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 assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing 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, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Find Out More About El Mirage Plumbing Tech Schools
Enroll in the Best El Mirage Plumber Vocational School
Selecting the best plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumber tech school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date 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 satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in El Mirage AZ.