How to Enroll in the Right Plumber Training School near Lake Havasu City Arizona
The first 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 choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to examine. For instance, many potential students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are accessible.
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 Certificate and Degree ProgramsThere 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 Plumber Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Lake Havasu City AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that 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 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 schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high 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 will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently 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 contractor if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, 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, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger 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 teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few 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 programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Lake Havasu City Plumber Training School
Choosing the right plumber training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumbing training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk 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 school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Lake Havasu City AZ.