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How to Enroll in the Best Plumbing Vocational School near Kingman Arizona

Kingman Arizona plumbing contractor installing kitchen sink faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Kingman AZ. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when picking a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.

Becoming a Plumber

Kingman Arizona plumbing contractor repairing water 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.

Plumbing Certificate and Degree Programs

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 Plumbing Trade Schools

Kingman Arizona plumber installing water heater

When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Kingman AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Kingman AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional 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’re not sure, 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Kingman AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Kingman AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently 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 tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Kingman AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Kingman AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

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 looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Kingman Plumbing Trade Schools

Pick the Best Kingman Plumber Trade School

Picking the ideal plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Kingman AZ.