How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing Trade School near Marana Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Marana AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many variables to consider. For example, many potential students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found several that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumbing training 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 instructional 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 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 Degree and Certificate OptionsThere 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 Plumber Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since 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 meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Marana AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure 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 course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers 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 alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Marana AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Marana AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Marana AZ plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must 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 relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive 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 observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Marana AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Marana AZ, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Pick the Right Marana Plumbing Vocational School
Picking the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Marana AZ.