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How to Choose the Right Plumber Training Course near Queen Creek Arizona

Queen Creek Arizona plumber installing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Queen Creek AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located a few that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when selecting a plumber trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

Queen Creek Arizona plumber fixing sink pipe

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 Queen Creek AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Queen Creek 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 Queen Creek 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 Queen Creek 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 Training Schools

Queen Creek Arizona plumbing contractor repairing hot water heater

When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Queen Creek AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Queen Creek AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of 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 confirming that a vocational 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 don’t know, 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 Queen Creek 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 course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly imperative 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Queen Creek AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber trade 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 businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Queen Creek AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Queen Creek AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Queen Creek AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Queen Creek 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 Queen Creek AZ, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make 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 because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Learn More About Queen Creek Plumber Vocational Schools

Enroll in the Right Queen Creek Plumbing Vocational School

Selecting the ideal plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training that you are reviewing 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 provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Queen Creek AZ.