How to Pick the Right Plumbing Trade School near Lake Havasu City Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Lake Havasu City AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though 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 additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices 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 Lake Havasu City AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Lake Havasu City 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 Lake Havasu City 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 Lake Havasu City 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 Technical Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Lake Havasu City AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it 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 reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually 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 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 Lake Havasu City 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 program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly important 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 use 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 grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lake Havasu City AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Lake Havasu City AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm 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 Lake Havasu City AZ, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Right Lake Havasu City Plumbing Trade School
Selecting the best plumbing training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Lake Havasu City AZ.