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How to Choose the Best Plumber Training Course near Lake Havasu City Arizona

Lake Havasu City Arizona plumber fixing sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Lake Havasu City AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many points to consider. For instance, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found several that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the only qualifications that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when picking a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are offered.

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 Degree and Certificate 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.

What to Ask Plumber Technical Schools

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Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Lake Havasu City AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually regulated and controlled 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 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 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 schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already 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 provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lake Havasu City AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors 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 are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Learn More About Lake Havasu City Plumbing Trade Schools

Choose the Right Lake Havasu City Plumbing Training School

Selecting the best plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length 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. Each program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Lake Havasu City AZ.