How to Choose the Best Plumber Training Course near Phoenix Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Phoenix AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of points to consider. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are accessible.
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.
Topics to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Phoenix AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two 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 must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Phoenix AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes 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 aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you don’t know, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent to train 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 directory of graduates, which can mean 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Phoenix AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Phoenix AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Phoenix AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Phoenix AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees 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 sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Phoenix AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Phoenix Plumber Trade School
Choosing the right plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumbing training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Phoenix AZ.