How to Find the Right Plumber Vocational School near Marana Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Marana AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many points to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. When they have located several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only factors 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 additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices 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.
Plumber Degree and Certificate 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.
What to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Marana AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Marana AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated 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 percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Marana AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Marana AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date 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 with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Marana AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Marana AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Marana AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be 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 because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Marana Plumbing Trade School
Choosing the right plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumber tech school that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Marana AZ.