How to Enroll in the Right Plumber Training 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 so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many variables to consider. For instance, some potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final decision when selecting a plumber training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, 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 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.
Questions to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Because there are so many 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 satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Lake Havasu City AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved 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 making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already 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 contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lake Havasu City AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges 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 teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to 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? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Lake Havasu City Plumbing Trade Schools
Pick the Best Lake Havasu City Plumber Vocational School
Selecting the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Lake Havasu City AZ.