How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing Tech School near Scottsdale Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Scottsdale AZ. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are so many factors to consider. For instance, many prospective students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located several that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole 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 selecting a plumbing trade school. We will talk about that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional 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 Certificate and Degree 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.
Points to Ask Plumber Training Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Scottsdale AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Scottsdale AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade 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 don’t know, 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low 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 instruct the students. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Scottsdale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Scottsdale AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date 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 concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Scottsdale AZ plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Scottsdale AZ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much individualized instruction 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 experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Scottsdale AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
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 go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, verify that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Learn More About Scottsdale Plumber Tech Schools
Pick the Best Scottsdale Plumber Vocational School
Selecting the ideal plumbing training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It's a must that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Scottsdale AZ.