How to Pick the Best Plumber Tech School near Goodyear Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Goodyear AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many points to evaluate. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.
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 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.
Plumbing Degree and Certificate 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Goodyear AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Goodyear AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you don’t know, 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 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers 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 alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Goodyear AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs 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 working relationships with local Goodyear AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Goodyear AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Goodyear AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Goodyear AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Goodyear Plumber Trade School
Choosing the best plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are considering. It's a must that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Goodyear AZ.