How to Select the Right Plumber Tech School near Green Valley Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Green Valley AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many variables to examine. For instance, many students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will talk about 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
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 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Green Valley AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify 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. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many 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, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re considering 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 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Green Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber training programs are taught along 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 companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies 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 up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Green Valley AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Green Valley AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult 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 students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Green Valley AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Enroll in the Right Green Valley Plumbing Training School
Picking the ideal plumbing training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Green Valley AZ.