How to Enroll in the Right Plumber Training Course near Scottsdale Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Scottsdale AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many variables to consider. For example, some prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have located a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your final judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional 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.
Plumbing 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 Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Scottsdale AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Scottsdale AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining 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 certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure 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 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 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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm 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 Scottsdale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught together 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 contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Scottsdale AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Scottsdale AZ plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Scottsdale AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Scottsdale AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, verify that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enroll in the Best Scottsdale Plumbing Vocational School
Choosing the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. 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 looking at. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Scottsdale AZ.