How to Find the Best Plumber Trade School near Prescott Valley Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Prescott Valley AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are so many factors to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that must be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumbing trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are offered.
What is 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.
Plumbing Certificate and Degree ProgramsThere 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 Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have attained 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 relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Prescott Valley AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing 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’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 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber technical 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 within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Prescott Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional 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 using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Prescott Valley AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Prescott Valley AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much personalized training 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 experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Prescott Valley AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Find Out More About Prescott Valley Plumber Vocational Schools
Choose the Best Prescott Valley Plumber Vocational School
Choosing the ideal plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Prescott Valley AZ.