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How to Choose the Best Plumbing Training Course near Kingman Arizona

Kingman Arizona plumbing contractor installing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Kingman AZ. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many points to consider. For instance, some students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole things that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are offered.

What is a Plumber?

Kingman Arizona plumbing contractor repairing sink 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 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 Options

There 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.

Things to Ask Plumber Technical Schools

Kingman Arizona plumber replacing water heater

Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Kingman AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Kingman AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing 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 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 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 considering 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 may indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. 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 more extensive directory of graduates, 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Kingman AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Kingman AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Kingman AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Kingman AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Kingman AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Kingman AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Find Out More About Kingman Plumber Training Schools

Enroll in the Right Kingman Plumbing Vocational School

Selecting the best plumber training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumber training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Kingman AZ.