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How to Find the Best Plumbing Technical School near Green Valley Arizona

Green Valley Arizona plumbing contractor installing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be 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 go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many points to evaluate. For example, many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only things that should be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when choosing a plumber 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 options that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

Green Valley Arizona plumbing contractor repairing water pipe

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 Certificate and Degree Programs

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.

What to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools

Green Valley Arizona plumbing contractor repairing water heater

Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Green Valley AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before selecting a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Green Valley AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually controlled and regulated 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 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 training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Green Valley AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to 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 provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Green Valley AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few 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?  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.

Get More Info About Green Valley Plumber Trade Schools

Enroll in the Right Green Valley Plumbing Trade School

Picking the ideal plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumber tech school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Green Valley AZ.