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How to Find the Best Plumbing Training near Lake Havasu City Arizona

Lake Havasu City Arizona plumbing contractor installing kitchen sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Lake Havasu City AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of points to evaluate. For instance, some students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have found a few that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole things that must be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are available.

Becoming a Plumber

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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 Options

There 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 Training Schools

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When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Lake Havasu City AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing 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 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent 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 directory of graduates, which can produce 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 help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber training programs are taught along 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 companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbing company if they can give you some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting 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 moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Lake Havasu City 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 assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out More About Lake Havasu City Plumber Trade Schools

Enroll in the Right Lake Havasu City Plumber Training School

Choosing the right plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumbing training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Lake Havasu City AZ.