How to Select the Best Plumber Trade School near Phoenix Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Phoenix AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are so many points to examine. For example, many students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training 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 Degree and Certificate OptionsThere 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.
Things to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Phoenix AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may 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 and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually 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 training programs 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 might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent 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 may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 help students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Phoenix AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Phoenix AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm 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, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Phoenix AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Phoenix AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Phoenix AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Phoenix Plumbing Trade Schools
Pick the Best Phoenix Plumbing Training School
Picking the right plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Phoenix AZ.