How to Find the Right Plumber Training near Glendale Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Glendale AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many factors to examine. For instance, many potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review 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.
Points to Ask Plumber Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are numerous 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 two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as 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. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking 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 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Glendale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade 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 considering have referring partnerships with local Glendale AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art 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 looking for. If not, ask a local Glendale AZ plumbing company if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Glendale AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees 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 some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and find out 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 are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Choose the Best Glendale Plumber Training School
Selecting the best plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Glendale AZ.