How to Select the Best Plumber Course near San Tan Valley Arizona
The initial step to becoming 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 tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many points to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located a few that are within driving range, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that should be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final judgment when selecting a plumber training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational 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.
Plumbing Degree and Certificate ProgramsThere 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.
Things to Ask Plumber Technical Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the San Tan Valley AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical schools have earned 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, such as electrical technology. Verify that the San Tan Valley AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually 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 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the San Tan Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber training programs are taught in conjunction 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. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local San Tan Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local San Tan Valley AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your San Tan Valley AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out 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 assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Learn More About San Tan Valley Plumbing Trade Schools
Enroll in the Right San Tan Valley Plumbing Training School
Picking the ideal plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in San Tan Valley AZ.