How to Choose the Best Plumbing Training Course near Tempe Arizona
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Tempe AZ. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to consider. For example, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified some that are within commuting range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options 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 Degree and Certificate OptionsThere 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.
Points to Ask Plumber Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Since there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Tempe AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Tempe AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training course 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 trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 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 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Tempe AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Tempe AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Tempe AZ plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, 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 may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few 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? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Tempe AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Learn More About Tempe Plumbing Vocational Schools
Enroll in the Right Tempe Plumber Trade School
Choosing the right plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Tempe AZ.