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How to Choose the Best Plumbing Technical School near Tempe Arizona

Tempe Arizona plumbing contractor replacing sink faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Tempe AZ. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For instance, many potential students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. After they have located several that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final judgment when selecting a plumber trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are accessible.

What is a Plumber?

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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 Programs

There 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.

Topics to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools

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Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Tempe AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Tempe AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, 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?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade 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 don’t know, 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 training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Tempe AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Tempe AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain 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 under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Tempe AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Tempe AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Tempe AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm 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, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Tempe Plumbing Trade Schools

Choose the Best Tempe Plumber Trade School

Choosing the ideal plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any plumber training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk 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 school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Tempe AZ.