How to Find the Right Plumber Tech School near Green Valley Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Green Valley AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of factors to examine. For instance, some students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that should be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when selecting a plumbing training school. We will cover 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 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 Degree and Certificate OptionsThere 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.
Topics to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Green Valley AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Green Valley AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure 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 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 complete the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Green Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber trade 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 contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish 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 up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Green Valley AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Green Valley AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added 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 sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, 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? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Learn More About Green Valley Plumber Tech Schools
Enroll in the Best Green Valley Plumber Trade School
Choosing the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Green Valley AZ.