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How to Find the Right Plumbing Course near Goodyear Arizona

Goodyear Arizona plumbing contractor fixing kitchen sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Goodyear AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, many potential students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have found some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will address that checklist in greater 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 offered.

What is a Plumber?

Goodyear Arizona plumber fixing water pipe

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 Options

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.

Things to Ask Plumber Technical Schools

Goodyear Arizona plumber repairing water heater

When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Goodyear AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Goodyear AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training course 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent 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 list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Goodyear AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Goodyear AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Goodyear AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Goodyear AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few 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?  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Learn More About Goodyear Plumbing Trade Schools

Choose the Best Goodyear Plumbing Trade School

Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Goodyear AZ.