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How to Choose the Right Plumbing Training Course near Fountain Hills Arizona

Fountain Hills Arizona plumber installing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Fountain Hills AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of points to evaluate. For instance, many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have identified some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will cover 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 instructional options that are accessible.

Becoming a Plumber

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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.

Plumber Degree and Certificate 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 Plumber Tech Schools

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Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Fountain Hills AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing trade programs have attained 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 an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Fountain Hills AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically 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 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 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Fountain Hills AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Fountain Hills AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Fountain Hills AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Fountain Hills AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Fountain Hills AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, 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, sickness or family issues.

Get More Info About Fountain Hills Plumbing Vocational Schools

Enroll in the Right Fountain Hills Plumber Training School

Picking the right plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Fountain Hills AZ.