How to Pick the Best Plumbing School near Glendale Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Glendale AZ. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only things that must be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking a plumbing training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's talk 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 Glendale AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Glendale 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 Glendale 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 OptionsThere are several educational options available near Glendale 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 Tech Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Glendale AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Glendale AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re considering 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 Glendale 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 schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high 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 can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Glendale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Glendale AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Glendale AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Glendale AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend 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 individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Glendale 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 reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Choose the Best Glendale Plumbing Training School
Choosing the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumbing training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Glendale AZ.