How to Find the Best Plumbing Training Course near Fountain Hills Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Fountain Hills AZ. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of points to consider. For example, some prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final judgment when selecting a plumber trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are accessible.
Becoming 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.
Plumber Certificate and Degree 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.
Things to Ask Plumber Training Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Fountain Hills AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Fountain Hills AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing 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 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 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally 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 vocational 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 companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Fountain Hills AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Fountain Hills AZ plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving 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 increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Fountain Hills AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. 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 because of work, sickness or family issues.
Pick the Right Fountain Hills Plumber Trade School
Picking the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumber tech school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Fountain Hills AZ.