How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing Training School near Marana Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Marana AZ. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to consider. For example, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are available.
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 Marana AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Marana 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 Marana 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 Marana 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 Plumbing Trade Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Marana AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade programs have received 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 an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Marana AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing 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 Marana 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Marana AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Marana AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Marana AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Marana AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much personalized instruction 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 some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Marana AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, verify 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 allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Enroll in the Right Marana Plumber Vocational School
Selecting the ideal plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Marana AZ.