How to Find the Right Plumbing Training Course near Lake Havasu City Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Lake Havasu City AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to consider. For example, many students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that must be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when picking a plumber training 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 instructional options that are offered.
What is 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.
Topics to Ask Plumber Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Lake Havasu City AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational 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’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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, 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? Most plumber training programs are taught together 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 reviewing have working partnerships with local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job 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 up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lake Havasu City AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the teachers 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? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Enroll in the Best Lake Havasu City Plumbing Vocational School
Picking the right plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Lake Havasu City AZ.