How to Pick the Best Plumbing Training School near Maricopa Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Maricopa AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many points to examine. For instance, many potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have located several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices 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.
Plumber Certificate and Degree 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.
Questions to Ask Plumber Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Maricopa AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Maricopa AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, 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 vocational 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’re not sure, 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 training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Maricopa AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction 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. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Maricopa AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional 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 on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Maricopa AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Maricopa AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out 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 evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Enroll in the Right Maricopa Plumbing Trade School
Picking the right plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a necessity that any plumber training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy 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 check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few 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 right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Maricopa AZ.