How to Enroll in the Best Plumber School near Tempe Arizona
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating 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 so many factors to evaluate. For example, many students will commence by searching for schools that are close to their residence. When they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole factors that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when picking a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional 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 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.
Things to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Tempe AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Tempe AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
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 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Tempe AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical 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 within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Tempe AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding 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 willing to move, the school must be within commuting 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 might be increased 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 difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Tempe AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Tempe Plumber Tech Schools
Pick the Right Tempe Plumbing Training School
Choosing the ideal plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It's a necessity that any plumber training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. 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 current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Tempe AZ.