How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing Vocational School near Goodyear Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Goodyear AZ. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to evaluate. For instance, many students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only qualifications that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options 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 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 OptionsThere 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 Plumbing Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Goodyear AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade 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 relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Goodyear AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade 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 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 schools 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 low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Goodyear AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Goodyear AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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. If not, ask a local Goodyear AZ plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Goodyear AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized 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 large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Goodyear AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, 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 issues.
Choose the Best Goodyear Plumber Training School
Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a must that any plumbing training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Goodyear AZ.