How to Find the Best Plumbing School near Goodyear Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Goodyear AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many factors to evaluate. For example, many potential students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when picking a plumbing training 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 educational choices 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 Goodyear AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Goodyear 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 Goodyear 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 Goodyear 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 Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Goodyear AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Goodyear AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with 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 don’t know, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Goodyear 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 reviewing 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 suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Goodyear AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Goodyear AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain 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 presently 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 Goodyear 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 commuting distance of your Goodyear AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Goodyear AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, verify that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Goodyear Plumber Trade School
Selecting the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Goodyear AZ.