Home >> Arizona >> Fountain Hills >> How To Become A Plumber


Request Free Info on Plumbing Training Courses Fountain Hills AZ 85259


How to Find the Right Plumbing Tech School near Fountain Hills Arizona

Fountain Hills Arizona plumbing contractor repairing kitchen faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Fountain Hills AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of points to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when picking a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are accessible.

Becoming a Plumber

Fountain Hills Arizona plumbing contractor repairing 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 Fountain Hills AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Fountain Hills 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 Fountain Hills 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 Programs

There are several educational options available near Fountain Hills 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.

Topics to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools

Fountain Hills Arizona plumber repairing water heater

Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Fountain Hills AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Fountain Hills AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if 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 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 Fountain Hills 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct 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 can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Fountain Hills AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber trade 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 contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Fountain Hills AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment 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 in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Fountain Hills AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Fountain Hills AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you receive 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 instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Fountain Hills AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Get More Info About Fountain Hills Plumber Trade Schools

Pick the Best Fountain Hills Plumbing Training School

Picking the ideal plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumbing training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Fountain Hills AZ.