How to Enroll in the Best Plumber Trade School near Kingman Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Kingman AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of factors to consider. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only 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 additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when selecting 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 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.
Topics to Ask Plumber Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Kingman AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Kingman AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure 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 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers 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 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 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 acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Kingman AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Kingman AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school 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 with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Kingman AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school must be within commuting 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 can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Kingman AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kingman AZ, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
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Pick the Best Kingman Plumber Trade School
Picking the right plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Kingman AZ.