How to Find the Right Plumber Tech School near Kingman Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Kingman AZ. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many factors to consider. For example, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when choosing a plumbing trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, 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.
Plumbing 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.
Questions to Ask Plumber Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Kingman AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical schools have acquired 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, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Kingman AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Kingman AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Kingman AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently 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 company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Kingman AZ residence. 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 desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Kingman AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kingman AZ, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Find Out More About Kingman Plumbing Tech Schools
Enroll in the Best Kingman Plumbing Trade School
Choosing the best plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumber tech school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own 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 differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Kingman AZ.