Home >> Arizona >> Sierra Vista >> Plumber Training


Request Free Info on Plumber Training Sierra Vista AZ 85613


How to Choose the Best Plumbing Technical School near Sierra Vista Arizona

Sierra Vista Arizona plumbing contractor installing kitchen sink faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Sierra Vista AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many factors to consider. For instance, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located a few that are within driving range, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only factors that should be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are offered.

What is a Plumber?

Sierra Vista Arizona plumbing contractor adjusting water pipe

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 Sierra Vista AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Sierra Vista 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 Sierra Vista 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 Options

There are several educational options available near Sierra Vista 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 Technical Schools

Sierra Vista Arizona plumber repairing hot water heater

Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Sierra Vista AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Sierra Vista AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing 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 is responsible for 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 Sierra Vista 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Sierra Vista AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Sierra Vista AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area 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 in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Sierra Vista AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Sierra Vista AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 important 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 observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Sierra Vista AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.

Get More Info About Sierra Vista Plumbing Tech Schools

Enroll in the Right Sierra Vista Plumbing Trade School

Choosing the right plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Sierra Vista AZ.