How to Select the Right Plumbing Training near Green Valley Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Green Valley AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to examine. For instance, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have located several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are available.
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.
Plumber Degree and Certificate 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.
Things to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Green Valley AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Green Valley AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing 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 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Green Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Green Valley AZ plumbing contracting 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 residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Green Valley AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Enroll in the Best Green Valley Plumbing Training School
Choosing the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumber tech school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach 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. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Green Valley AZ.