Home >> Arizona >> Flagstaff >> Plumber Training


Request Free Info on Plumbing Training Flagstaff AZ 86001


How to Choose the Best Plumbing Technical School near Flagstaff Arizona

Flagstaff Arizona plumbing contractor repairing sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Flagstaff AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumbing trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

Flagstaff Arizona plumber adjusting water pipe

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 Flagstaff AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Flagstaff 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 Flagstaff 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 Flagstaff 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.

What to Ask Plumbing Training Schools

Flagstaff Arizona plumber replacing water heater

Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Flagstaff AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Flagstaff AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 Flagstaff 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 course. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified 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 list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use 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 employment in the Flagstaff AZ area.

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

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain 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 under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Flagstaff AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Flagstaff AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much individualized training 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 observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Flagstaff AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, check that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Learn More About Flagstaff Plumber Tech Schools

Enroll in the Right Flagstaff Plumbing Vocational School

Picking the best plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed 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 examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should 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 in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few 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 right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Flagstaff AZ.