How to Find the Best Plumbing Course near El Mirage Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near El Mirage AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of variables to examine. For instance, many students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole things that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will talk about 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.
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.
Plumbing Certificate and Degree 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.
Things to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the El Mirage AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before selecting a plumber tech 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 focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the El Mirage AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually regulated and controlled 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the El Mirage AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber trade 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 within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local El Mirage AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local El Mirage AZ plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your El Mirage AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in El Mirage AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Best El Mirage Plumbing Training School
Picking the right plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumber training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in El Mirage AZ.