Home >> Arizona >> Sun City >> Becoming A Plumber


Get Free Info on Plumbing Training Courses Sun City AZ 85345


How to Pick the Best Plumber School near Sun City Arizona

Sun City Arizona plumber installing sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Sun City AZ. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are so many points to consider. For example, many prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have found some that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final decision when choosing a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are available.

What is a Plumber?

Sun City 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 Sun City AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Sun City 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 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 Sun City 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.

Things to Ask Plumber Training Schools

Sun City Arizona plumber replacing water heater

Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Sun City AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Sun City AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking 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 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 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may produce 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Sun City AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Sun City AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Confirm that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Sun City AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Sun City AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added 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 individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging 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 students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Sun City AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Sun City AZ, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, 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 responsibilities.

Learn More About Sun City Plumbing Trade Schools

Choose the Right Sun City Plumber Training School

Choosing the right plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed 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 considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training 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 AZ.