How to Find the Best Plumber Training Course near Maricopa Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Maricopa AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many factors to evaluate. For instance, many potential students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. After they have found some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will cover 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.
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 ProgramsThere 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.
Things to Ask Plumber Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Maricopa AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Maricopa AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring 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 for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re considering 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 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 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 complete the course. A low completion rate might indicate 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 also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, 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? A large number of plumber training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Maricopa AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Maricopa AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Maricopa AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Maricopa AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be 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 due to work, illness or family issues.
Pick the Right Maricopa Plumbing Vocational School
Picking the ideal plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Maricopa AZ.