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How to Enroll in the Right Plumber School near Queen Creek Arizona

Queen Creek Arizona plumber repairing 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 numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many variables to consider. For instance, some prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are available.

Becoming a Plumber

Queen Creek Arizona plumbing contractor adjusting 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.

Plumber Certificate and Degree Programs

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 Plumbing Technical Schools

Queen Creek Arizona plumbing contractor installing hot water heater

When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Queen Creek AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before choosing a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Queen Creek AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order 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 reiewing 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 don’t know, 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 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can produce 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Queen Creek AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with local Queen Creek AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Queen Creek AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Queen Creek AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Queen Creek AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows 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 Plumber Tech Schools

Enroll in the Right Queen Creek Plumbing Training School

Picking the ideal plumber training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Queen Creek AZ.