How to Select the Right Plumbing Training Course near Prescott Valley Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating 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 right one? Particularly since there are so many variables to examine. For instance, many students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your ultimate decision when choosing a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options 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 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 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.
Topics to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have acquired 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 an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Prescott Valley AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering 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 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also 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 mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Prescott Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Prescott Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. 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 Prescott Valley AZ plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Prescott Valley AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Prescott Valley AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Prescott Valley Plumbing Vocational School
Picking the ideal plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing tech school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Prescott Valley AZ.