How to Choose the Best Plumber Tech School near San Luis Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near San Luis AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many factors to examine. For instance, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumber training 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 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 San Luis AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of San Luis 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 San Luis 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 OptionsThere are several educational options available near San Luis 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 Plumbing Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the San Luis AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the San Luis AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you’re not sure, 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 San Luis 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the San Luis AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local San Luis AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools 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, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local San Luis AZ plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your San Luis AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some 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 comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in San Luis AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near San Luis AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Find Out More About San Luis Plumbing Trade Schools
Pick the Best San Luis Plumbing Vocational School
Selecting the ideal plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, 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 have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in San Luis AZ.