How to Select the Best Plumber Training Course near Fountain Hills Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Fountain Hills AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, many potential students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices 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 Certificate and Degree ProgramsThere 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 Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Fountain Hills AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Fountain Hills AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also essential that the schools have high 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Fountain Hills AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught together 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 reviewing have working relationships with local Fountain Hills AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools 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, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Fountain Hills AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Fountain Hills AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Fountain Hills AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Find Out More About Fountain Hills Plumbing Trade Schools
Choose the Right Fountain Hills Plumbing Vocational School
Choosing the right plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Fountain Hills AZ.