How to Select the Best Plumber Technical School near Marana Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Marana AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many factors to evaluate. For instance, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found some that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that should be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are offered.
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 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.
Plumbing 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.
Things to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Marana AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Marana AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you don’t know, 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also signify that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Marana AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Marana AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained 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, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Marana AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Marana AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased 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 monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Marana AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, confirm that the programs you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Learn More About Marana Plumbing Vocational Schools
Choose the Right Marana Plumber Vocational School
Selecting the right plumber trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Marana AZ.