How to Choose the Right Plumbing Vocational School near Glendale Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Glendale AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many points to consider. For example, many students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, 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 additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are offered.
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.
Plumber Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere 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 Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Glendale AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Glendale AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated 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 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may result in 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Glendale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Glendale AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area 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 using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Glendale AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Glendale AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Glendale AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Glendale Plumber Training School
Selecting the best plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumbing training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on 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 right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Glendale AZ.