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How to Pick the Best Plumber Tech School near Scottsdale Arizona

Scottsdale Arizona plumber replacing kitchen faucetThe initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Scottsdale AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of points to examine. For instance, some potential students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified a few that are within commuting range, they will select the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the only factors that should be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when picking a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional choices that are accessible.

Becoming a Plumber

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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 Programs

There 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.

What to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools

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When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Scottsdale AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Scottsdale AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

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 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 is responsible for 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent 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 more extensive directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Scottsdale AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber trade programs are taught along 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 contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Scottsdale AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Scottsdale AZ plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Scottsdale AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Scottsdale AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Find Out More About Scottsdale Plumber Training Schools

Pick the Right Scottsdale Plumber Training School

Selecting the ideal plumber training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber tech school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Scottsdale AZ.