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How to Choose the Best Plumber Training near Green Valley Arizona

Green Valley Arizona plumbing contractor fixing kitchen faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Green Valley AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of points to examine. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located some that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.

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 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.

Plumber Certificate and Degree Options

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.

Topics to Ask Plumber Technical Schools

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Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Green Valley AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing technical schools have received 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 pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Green Valley AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education.  If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified 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 broader list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Green Valley AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools 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, check 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 tips.

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

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback relating to 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 degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Learn More About Green Valley Plumbing Training Schools

Choose the Right Green Valley Plumber Trade School

Picking the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Green Valley AZ.