How to Pick the Right Plumber School near Kingman Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Kingman AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many points to examine. For example, some potential students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when choosing a plumbing trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are offered.
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 Kingman AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Kingman 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 Kingman 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 OptionsThere are several educational options available near Kingman 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 Technical Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Kingman AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Kingman AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking 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 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 Kingman 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can produce 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Kingman AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational 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 labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Kingman AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Kingman AZ plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Kingman AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Kingman 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 handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Kingman AZ, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Right Kingman Plumber Vocational School
Selecting the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Kingman AZ.