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How to Find the Best Plumber Course near El Mirage Arizona

El Mirage Arizona plumber replacing kitchen faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near El Mirage AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many points to examine. For instance, some potential students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are available.

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 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 Options

There 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 Plumber Tech Schools

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Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the El Mirage AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. 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. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before choosing a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing technical programs have earned 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 relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the El Mirage AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically controlled and regulated 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 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 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 of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive 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 can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the El Mirage AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local El Mirage AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local El Mirage 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 El Mirage AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in El Mirage AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. 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 Plumber Training Schools

Choose the Best El Mirage Plumbing Trade School

Picking the best plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in El Mirage AZ.