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How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing School near Cabot Arkansas

Cabot Arkansas plumber installing sink faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Cabot AR. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many variables to examine. For example, many students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified several that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that must be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let's review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

Cabot Arkansas plumber fixing 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 Cabot AR plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Cabot 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 Cabot 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 Cabot 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.

Points to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools

Cabot Arkansas plumber repairing hot water heater

Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Cabot AR area, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Cabot AR school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to 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 controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arkansas 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 Cabot 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 considering 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 could signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment in the Cabot AR area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Cabot AR plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local 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 using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Cabot AR plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Cabot AR home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some 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. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Cabot AR 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 fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Cabot AR, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.

Find Out More About Cabot Plumbing Trade Schools

Choose the Best Cabot Plumbing Trade School

Choosing the right plumber trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are considering. It's a must that any plumber training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Cabot AR.