How to Find the Right Plumbing School near Prescott Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Prescott AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to examine. For instance, some prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that should be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when selecting a plumber trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are available.
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 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 Certificate and Degree 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 Training Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Prescott AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Prescott AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure 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 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 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 program. A low completion rate could suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers 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 more extensive directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Prescott AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Prescott AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Prescott AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Prescott AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation 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 instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors 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 evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Prescott AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Enroll in the Best Prescott Plumber Training School
Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Prescott AZ.