How to Find the Right Plumber Tech School near Surprise Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Surprise AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many points to consider. For instance, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole things that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are accessible.
Becoming 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 Surprise AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Surprise 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 Surprise 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 OptionsThere are several educational options available near Surprise 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 Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Surprise AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Surprise AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another 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 Surprise 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 looking at 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 program and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have higher 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Surprise AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools 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 working partnerships with local Surprise AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Surprise AZ plumbing company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Surprise AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much individualized training 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 large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Surprise AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Surprise AZ, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Surprise Plumbing Vocational Schools
Pick the Right Surprise Plumber Trade School
Choosing the right plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Surprise AZ.