How to Enroll in the Best Plumbing Course near Tempe Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Tempe AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of points to consider. For example, many students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located several that are within driving range, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices 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 Tempe AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Tempe 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 Tempe 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 Tempe 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 Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Tempe AZ area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Tempe AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
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 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 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 Tempe 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, 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 a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Tempe AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Tempe AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date 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 under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Tempe AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Tempe AZ residence. 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 desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Tempe AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
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Choose the Best Tempe Plumber Trade School
Choosing the ideal plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Tempe AZ.