How to Find the Right Plumber Training School near Prescott Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Prescott AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many points to consider. For instance, some potential students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final decision when picking a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are available.
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.
Plumber 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.
Points to Ask Plumber Technical Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Prescott AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade programs have acquired 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 a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Prescott AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure 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 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 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent 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 directory 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Prescott AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Prescott 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 establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Prescott AZ plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Prescott AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Prescott AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Prescott AZ, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Right Prescott Plumber Trade School
Selecting the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Prescott AZ.