How to Select the Right Plumbing Vocational School near Tempe Arizona
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing trade school near Tempe AZ. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly because there are a number of factors to consider. For instance, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found some that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final judgment when picking 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 instructional options that are accessible.
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.
Topics to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Because there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Tempe AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Tempe AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational 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 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 program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's also important 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Tempe AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Tempe AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Tempe AZ plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Tempe AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Tempe AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
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Pick the Best Tempe Plumbing Training School
Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any plumbing tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Tempe AZ.