How to Enroll in the Right Plumber Training School near Kingman Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman 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? Especially because there are so many points to consider. For instance, many students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have found some that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that must be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final judgment when picking a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are available.
Becoming 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 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.
Things to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Kingman AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Kingman AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. 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 trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you don’t know, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It's similarly important 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Kingman AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Kingman AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under 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 are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Kingman AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some 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? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Kingman AZ, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Find Out More About Kingman Plumbing Tech Schools
Enroll in the Best Kingman Plumber Vocational School
Selecting the best plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered 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 that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school 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.