How to Choose the Right Plumbing Training Course 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 go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational 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 Degree and Certificate 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.
Points to Ask Plumber Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Kingman AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Kingman AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that 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 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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Kingman AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing 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 job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus 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 presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Kingman AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Kingman AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Kingman AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Kingman AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make 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 because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Kingman Plumber Trade School
Selecting the right plumbing training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Kingman AZ.