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How to Find the Best Plumber Tech School near Goodyear Arizona

Goodyear Arizona plumber fixing kitchen faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Goodyear AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For instance, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will talk about 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 training options that are offered.

What is a Plumber?

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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 Programs

There 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 Tech Schools

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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 numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Goodyear AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Goodyear AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

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 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Goodyear AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber trade programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Goodyear AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. 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 relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Goodyear AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Goodyear AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.

Get More Info About Goodyear Plumber Trade Schools

Choose the Best Goodyear Plumber Vocational School

Choosing the right plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumbing training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Goodyear AZ.