How to Pick the Right Plumbing Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Prescott Valley AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many factors to consider. For example, many prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, 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 Prescott Valley AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Prescott Valley 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 Prescott Valley 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 Prescott Valley 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 Technical Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Prescott Valley AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training program 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 vocational 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 Prescott Valley 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 finish the course. A low 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 higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Prescott Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Prescott Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Prescott Valley AZ plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Prescott Valley AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Prescott Valley AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, check that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Pick the Right Prescott Valley Plumber Vocational School
Picking the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Prescott Valley AZ.