How to Enroll in the Best Plumber School near San Tan Valley Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near San Tan Valley AZ. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to examine. For instance, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that should be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate decision when choosing a plumbing 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 training choices that are available.
Becoming 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 Tan Valley AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of San Tan Valley 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 Tan Valley 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 OptionsThere are several educational options available near San Tan Valley 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 Training Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the San Tan Valley AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the San Tan Valley AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with 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 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 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 San Tan Valley 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 program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent 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 graduates, which may 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment in the San Tan Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of 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 inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local San Tan Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date 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 looking for. If not, ask a local San Tan Valley AZ plumbing company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your San Tan Valley AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to 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 individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in San Tan Valley 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 are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide 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 protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Find Out More About San Tan Valley Plumbing Trade Schools
Choose the Right San Tan Valley Plumber Trade School
Picking the best plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a necessity that any plumber training program that you are assessing 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 education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in San Tan Valley AZ.