How to Find the Best Plumbing Technical School near Scottsdale Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Scottsdale AZ. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of factors to examine. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have found some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are accessible.
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 Scottsdale AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Scottsdale 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 Scottsdale 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 ProgramsThere are several educational options available near Scottsdale 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.
Topics to Ask Plumber Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Scottsdale AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to choosing a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Scottsdale AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering 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 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 Scottsdale 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 considering 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 might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Scottsdale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Scottsdale AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment 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, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Scottsdale AZ plumbing company if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Scottsdale AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Scottsdale AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Right Scottsdale Plumbing Vocational School
Selecting the best plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Scottsdale AZ.