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How to Find the Best Plumbing Trade School near Green Valley Arizona

Green Valley Arizona plumbing contractor replacing sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Green Valley AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of variables to examine. For example, some students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located several that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only things that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

Green Valley Arizona plumber repairing 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 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 Programs

There 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 Technical Schools

Green Valley Arizona plumber repairing hot water heater

When you have decided 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 Green Valley AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to selecting a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Green Valley AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another 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’re not sure, 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 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 program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also signify that the instructors 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 graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment in the Green Valley AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure 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 on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Green Valley AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some pointers.

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

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger 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 several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Green Valley AZ and what certifications or degrees 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 in the evening or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Green Valley Plumber Trade Schools

Enroll in the Right Green Valley Plumber Training School

Choosing the right plumber trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Green Valley AZ.