How to Pick the Best Plumber Vocational School near Glendale Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Glendale AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located several that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are available.
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 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 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.
Topics to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Glendale AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned 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 added qualifications that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Glendale AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering 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’re not sure, ask the school which state agency is responsible for 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 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 program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, 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 also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Glendale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Glendale AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Glendale AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
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 attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak 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? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, verify that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Glendale Plumbing Training School
Selecting the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumber tech school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Glendale AZ.