How to Find the Right Plumber Technical School near Queen Creek Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Queen Creek AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to consider. For instance, many potential students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have found some that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when picking a plumber trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational 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 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.
Plumber Degree and Certificate 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Queen Creek AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other variables 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? A large number of plumbing technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Queen Creek AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, 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? In addition to accreditation, an additional 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’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 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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct 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 produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Queen Creek AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Queen Creek AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Queen Creek AZ plumbing company if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Queen Creek AZ residence. 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 important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Queen Creek AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, check that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Queen Creek Plumber Training School
Choosing the right plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor 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 Queen Creek AZ.