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How to Enroll in the Best Plumber Technical School near Peoria Arizona

Peoria Arizona plumbing contractor replacing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Peoria AZ. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of factors to consider. For example, some students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated. 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 picking a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are available.

What is a Plumber?

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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 Peoria AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Peoria 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 Peoria 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 Options

There are several educational options available near Peoria 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 Plumbing Vocational Schools

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Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Peoria AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may 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. Verify that the Peoria AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

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 regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education.  If you’re not sure, 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 Peoria 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 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 lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Peoria AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber trade 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 trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Peoria AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with 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. If not, ask a local Peoria AZ plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Peoria AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much one-on-one training 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. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Peoria AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, confirm that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Learn More About Peoria Plumbing Vocational Schools

Choose the Best Peoria Plumber Vocational School

Picking the best plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed 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 plumber training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach 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 some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Peoria AZ.