How to Select the Right Plumber Training School near Green Valley Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Green Valley AZ. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many points to examine. For example, some potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have found some that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options 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.
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.
Questions to Ask Plumber Tech Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Green Valley AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm 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 ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train 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 graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Green Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area 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 using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Green Valley AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Green Valley AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger 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 some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Green Valley AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Best Green Valley Plumber Trade School
Selecting the right plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration 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. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Green Valley AZ.