How to Select the Right Plumber Training Course near Phoenix Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Phoenix AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final judgment when selecting a plumber trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are available.
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 Phoenix AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Phoenix 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 Phoenix 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 Phoenix 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.
What to Ask Plumber Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Phoenix AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Phoenix AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing 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 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 Phoenix 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Phoenix AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Phoenix AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Phoenix AZ plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Phoenix AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to 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 personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Phoenix AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Learn More About Phoenix Plumber Trade Schools
Enroll in the Right Phoenix Plumber Trade School
Selecting the right plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each 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 current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Phoenix AZ.