How to Choose the Best Plumbing Training School near Queen Creek Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Queen Creek AZ. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many variables to consider. For example, some potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only things that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when choosing a plumbing trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are accessible.
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 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 ProgramsThere 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 Trade Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Queen Creek AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Queen Creek AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering 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 regulates 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 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can result in 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Queen Creek AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Queen Creek AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Queen Creek AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Queen Creek AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much personalized training 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 witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn 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 schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Learn More About Queen Creek Plumbing Vocational Schools
Enroll in the Best Queen Creek Plumber Vocational School
Selecting the ideal plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It's a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Queen Creek AZ.