How to Enroll in the Right Plumber Training Course near Scottsdale Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Scottsdale AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many points to evaluate. For example, many students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located some that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are offered.
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 OptionsThere 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Scottsdale AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical schools have attained 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 an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Scottsdale AZ program 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 receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically 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 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent 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 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 will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Scottsdale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Scottsdale AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local 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 using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Scottsdale AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Scottsdale AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added 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 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 observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn 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 assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Enroll in the Best Scottsdale Plumbing Training School
Picking the right plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Scottsdale AZ.