How to Select the Best Plumber Training Course near Green Valley Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Green Valley AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many variables to examine. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are available.
What is 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Green Valley AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Green Valley AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you don’t know, 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean 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 graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Green Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Green Valley AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Green Valley AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few 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 programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, check that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Green Valley Plumber Training School
Picking the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Green Valley AZ.