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How to Select the Right Plumbing Vocational School near Queen Creek Arizona

Queen Creek Arizona plumber replacing kitchen faucetThe initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Queen Creek AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many factors to consider. For instance, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. After they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors 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 additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

Queen Creek Arizona plumber repairing water 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 Degree and Certificate 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.

Points to Ask Plumber Trade Schools

Queen Creek Arizona plumber repairing water heater

When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Queen Creek AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Queen Creek AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually controlled and regulated 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 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified 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 graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize 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 help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Queen Creek AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Queen Creek AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Queen Creek AZ plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Queen Creek AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors 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?  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Learn More About Queen Creek Plumbing Trade Schools

Pick the Right Queen Creek Plumber Vocational School

Picking the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Queen Creek AZ.