How to Select the Right Plumbing Training near Glendale Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Glendale AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many points to examine. For example, some potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have found some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are available.
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 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.
What to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Glendale AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Glendale AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if 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 don’t know, 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Glendale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Glendale AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already 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 Glendale AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Glendale 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 fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Glendale AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Glendale Plumber Trade School
Picking the best plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Glendale AZ.