How to Select the Right Plumbing Training near Green Valley Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Green Valley AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of factors to examine. For instance, many prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are offered.
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 Green Valley AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Green Valley 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 Green Valley AZ is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.
Plumbing Certificate and Degree ProgramsThere are several educational options available near Green Valley 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 Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Green Valley AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade 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, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Green Valley AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate 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, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency is responsible for 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 Green Valley 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 reviewing 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 dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Green Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art 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 under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Green Valley AZ plumbing company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Green Valley AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Green Valley AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools 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 Green Valley AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Best Green Valley Plumbing Trade School
Choosing the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers 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 program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Green Valley AZ.