How to Select the Right Plumber Vocational School near Lake Havasu City Arizona
The first 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 right one? Particularly since there are so many factors to examine. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the sole qualifications that should be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational 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 Degree and Certificate 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade programs have earned 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 pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Lake Havasu City AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re considering 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm 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 in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must 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, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some 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? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Lake Havasu City Plumber Trade School
Selecting the best plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour 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 dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Lake Havasu City AZ.