How to Pick the Best Plumber Training near Tempe Arizona
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Tempe AZ. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many factors to consider. For instance, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified several that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final judgment when picking a plumbing training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational 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.
Plumbing 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Tempe AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Tempe AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking 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 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 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent 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 more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use 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 field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Tempe AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Tempe AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local 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 using on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Tempe AZ plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Tempe AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Tempe AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Learn More About Tempe Plumbing Training Schools
Enroll in the Best Tempe Plumbing Vocational School
Choosing the best plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Tempe AZ.