How to Enroll in the Best Plumber School near Prescott Valley Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Prescott Valley AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of points to examine. For example, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that should be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are offered.
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.
Points to Ask Plumber Training Schools
Once you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Prescott Valley AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Prescott Valley AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order 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 reiewing is reputable is by making sure 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 is responsible for 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 training programs 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 low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Prescott Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm 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 in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Prescott Valley AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Prescott Valley AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Prescott Valley AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be 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 due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Prescott Valley Plumbing Vocational Schools
Enroll in the Right Prescott Valley Plumbing Vocational School
Picking the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Prescott Valley AZ.