Home >> Arizona >> Sun City West >> Plumbing Classes


Get Free Info on Plumbing Training Courses Sun City West AZ 85375


How to Find the Best Plumber Vocational School near Sun City West Arizona

Sun City West Arizona plumber replacing kitchen sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Sun City West AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many variables to evaluate. For instance, some potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. When they have found some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

Sun City West Arizona plumbing contractor repairing 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 Sun City West AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Sun City West 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 Sun City West AZ is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.

Plumbing Certificate and Degree Options

There are several educational options available near Sun City West 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 Training Schools

Sun City West Arizona plumber replacing water heater

Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Sun City West AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing trade schools have earned 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 an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Sun City West AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing 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 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 Sun City West 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 complete the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors 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 broader directory of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment in the Sun City West AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Sun City West AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure 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 on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Sun City West AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Sun City West AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Sun City West AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Sun City West AZ, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out More About Sun City West Plumber Vocational Schools

Pick the Best Sun City West Plumbing Trade School

Picking the right plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a necessity that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Sun City West AZ.