Home >> Arizona >> Tucson >> Trade Schools For Plumbers


Get Free Info on Plumber Training Tucson AZ 85629


How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing Technical School near Tucson Arizona

Tucson Arizona plumber repairing kitchen sink faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing trade school near Tucson AZ. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are a number of factors to consider. For example, some potential students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are of importance, they are not the only qualifications that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let's talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are accessible.

Becoming a Plumber

Tucson Arizona plumber adjusting sink pipe

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 Tucson AZ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Tucson 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 Tucson 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 Programs

There are several educational options available near Tucson 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

Tucson Arizona plumbing contractor repairing water heater

Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Tucson AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Tucson AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if 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’re not sure, 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 Tucson 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors 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 broader directory of graduates, which can produce 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 industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Tucson AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber trade 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 contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Tucson AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Tucson AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Tucson AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Tucson AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tucson AZ, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Get More Info About Tucson Plumbing Tech Schools

Enroll in the Right Tucson Plumbing Trade School

Choosing the right plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any plumber training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Tucson AZ.