How to Select the Right Plumber School near Maricopa Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Maricopa AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of factors to examine. For instance, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only factors that must be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are offered.
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 Maricopa AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Maricopa 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 Maricopa 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 Maricopa 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 Vocational Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Maricopa AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze before enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Maricopa AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing 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 don’t know, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Maricopa 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's also 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 mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Maricopa AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Maricopa AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Maricopa AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Maricopa 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 monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Maricopa AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Right Maricopa Plumber Trade School
Picking the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Maricopa AZ.