How to Enroll in the Best Plumbing Tech School near Fountain Hills Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Fountain Hills AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of points to consider. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your final judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training 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 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 Plumber Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Fountain Hills AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves 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 school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
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 usually regulated and controlled 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 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent 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 broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Fountain Hills AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Fountain Hills AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to 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 suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, 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, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some 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? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, verify that the programs you are considering provide 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 because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Find Out More About Fountain Hills Plumber Vocational Schools
Enroll in the Best Fountain Hills Plumber Trade School
Choosing the right plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumber training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Fountain Hills AZ.