How to Select the Best Plumbing Training near San Tan Valley Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near San Tan Valley AZ. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of factors to examine. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have located a few that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will discuss 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 offered.
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 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.
Things to Ask Plumber Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the San Tan Valley AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the San Tan Valley AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational 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’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 schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the San Tan Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local San Tan Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local San Tan Valley AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.
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 home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in San Tan Valley AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Find Out More About San Tan Valley Plumbing Tech Schools
Pick the Best San Tan Valley Plumber Training School
Choosing the right plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in San Tan Valley AZ.