Home >> Arizona >> Florence >> Courses For Plumbers


Get Free Info on Plumber Schools Florence AZ 85128


How to Pick the Best Plumbing Tech School near Florence Arizona

Florence Arizona plumber repairing sink faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Florence AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to examine. For instance, some prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole things that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when selecting a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

Florence Arizona plumbing contractor adjusting sink 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 Florence AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Florence 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 Florence 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 Florence 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 Technical Schools

Florence Arizona plumbing contractor repairing water heater

Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Florence AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Florence AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another 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 don’t know, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Florence 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 training programs 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 course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can result in 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 a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Florence 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 trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Florence AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable 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?  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 on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Florence AZ plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Florence AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased 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 challenging in larger 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 instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Florence 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 meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Florence AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Get More Info About Florence Plumbing Vocational Schools

Pick the Right Florence Plumbing Training School

Selecting the ideal plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor 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 Florence AZ.