How to Find the Right Plumbing Training School near Glendale Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Glendale AZ. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located some that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final judgment when selecting a plumber training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options 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 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Glendale AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Glendale AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional 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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Glendale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check 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 supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Glendale AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, 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, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few 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? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, verify that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Right Glendale Plumber Training School
Picking the best plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumber tech school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Glendale AZ.