How to Find the Right Plumber Tech School near Fountain Hills Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Fountain Hills AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many factors to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that should be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumber trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are offered.
What is 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 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 Degree and Certificate OptionsThere 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Fountain Hills AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Fountain Hills AZ school is 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 receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure 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 is responsible for 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 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 may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Fountain Hills AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Fountain Hills AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Fountain Hills AZ plumbing company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to 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 moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Fountain Hills AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Enroll in the Right Fountain Hills Plumber Vocational School
Choosing the right plumber trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumber training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Fountain Hills AZ.