How to Pick the Best Plumber Training near Kingman Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Kingman AZ. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of points to consider. For example, many students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have located several that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when choosing a plumbing trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are available.
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 Certificate and Degree ProgramsThere 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.
What to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Kingman AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Kingman AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you’re not sure, 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 training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Kingman AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Kingman AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already 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 Kingman AZ plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting 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 desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Kingman AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kingman AZ, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Find Out More About Kingman Plumbing Training Schools
Choose the Best Kingman Plumber Trade School
Selecting the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumbing training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Kingman AZ.