How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing Course near Prescott Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Prescott AZ. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many factors to examine. For example, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have found some that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the only qualifications that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final decision when picking a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options 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 AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Prescott 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 AZ is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.
Plumbing Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere are several educational options available near Prescott 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 Plumbing Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Prescott AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers 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 earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Prescott AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated 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 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 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It might also mean 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 broader list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 help students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Prescott AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Prescott AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. 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? Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Prescott AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Prescott AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much individualized 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 observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Prescott AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
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 can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Prescott AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Get More Info About Prescott Plumber Training Schools
Choose the Right Prescott Plumbing Vocational School
Choosing the best plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber tech school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Prescott AZ.