How to Pick the Right Plumbing School near Maricopa Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Maricopa AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to consider. For example, many prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only factors that must be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final decision when picking a plumbing training school. We will cover 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 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 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.
Things to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Maricopa AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Maricopa AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade 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 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Maricopa 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 technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Maricopa AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes 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 tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. 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. If not, ask a local Maricopa AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Maricopa AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can 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 sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Maricopa AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain 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, sickness or family emergencies.
Learn More About Maricopa Plumbing Vocational Schools
Choose the Right Maricopa Plumbing Training School
Selecting the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing tech school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Maricopa AZ.