Home >> Arkansas >> Bella Vista >> Plumber Trades Schools


Request Free Info on Plumbing Training Bella Vista AR 72712


How to Choose the Right Plumber Trade School near Bella Vista Arkansas

Bella Vista Arkansas plumber replacing sink faucetThe initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Bella Vista AR. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to examine. For instance, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have located some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your ultimate decision when selecting a plumber trade 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 training choices that are offered.

What is a Plumber?

Bella Vista Arkansas plumbing contractor 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 Bella Vista AR plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Bella Vista AR 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 Bella Vista AR 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 Options

There are several educational options available near Bella Vista AR 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

Bella Vista Arkansas plumber replacing hot water heater

When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Bella Vista AR area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Bella Vista AR school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate 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 determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is usually regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Arkansas Department of Education.  If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Bella Vista AR 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Bella Vista AR area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Bella Vista AR plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Bella Vista AR plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Bella Vista AR residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much personalized training 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 large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Bella Vista AR and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bella Vista AR, verify that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out More About Bella Vista Plumbing Tech Schools

Pick the Right Bella Vista Plumbing Vocational School

Selecting the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a must that any plumbing tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small 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 course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Bella Vista AR.