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How to Pick the Best Plumber Tech School near Prescott Valley Arizona

Prescott Valley Arizona plumber repairing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Prescott Valley AZ. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of points to examine. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumbing trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are available.

Becoming a Plumber

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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 Options

There 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.

Things to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools

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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 area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Prescott Valley AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 training programs you are considering 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 may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Prescott Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already 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 company if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing 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, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges 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 difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Prescott Valley AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Get More Info About Prescott Valley Plumbing Tech Schools

Enroll in the Best Prescott Valley Plumbing Vocational School

Selecting the right plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Prescott Valley AZ.