How to Choose a Plumbing Trade School near Dothan Alabama
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Dothan AL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many variables to consider. For instance, some prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located a few that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are accessible.
Becoming 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 plumber in Dothan AL will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of 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 Dothan AL 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 options available 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 Dothan AL area 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 Alabama 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 Training Schools
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Because there are numerous Alabama plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Dothan AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many Dothan AL area plumbing trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example plumbing technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited Alabama schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school near Dothan AL you’re reviewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education. If you don’t know, 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 Alabama 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 low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Dothan AL area contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating Dothan AL area trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Dothan AL plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Dothan AL residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is in Alabama and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Dothan AL, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Plumbing Contractor?When prepping to interview for a Plumbing job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask Plumbing prospects is "What drove you to choose Plumbing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Plumbing Contractor, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Plumbing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent Plumbing Contractor and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Find the Right Plumbing Trade School near Dothan AL
Picking the ideal plumber training program 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 looking at. It’s a necessity that any plumbing training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional plumber in Dothan AL.
Background on Dothan Alabama
Dothan /ˈdoʊθən/ is a city in Dale, Henry, and Houston counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the largest city and county seat of Houston County, with a population of 65,496 at the 2010 census. It is located in the state's southeastern corner, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the Georgia state line and 16 miles (26 km) north of Florida. Its name derives from Genesis 37:17: "let us go to Dothan."
Dothan is the principal city of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties; the small portion that lies in Dale County is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The combined population for the entire Dothan metropolitan area in 2010 was 145,639. The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle. Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, with much of it being processed in the city, Dothan is sometimes referred to as "The Peanut Capital of the World". Dothan also hosts the annual National Peanut Festival at the dedicated "Peanut Festival Fairgrounds".
The area that is now Dothan was inhabited for thousands of years by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. In historic times it was occupied by the Alabama and Creek Native American tribes who were hunters and gatherers in the vast forests of pine that covered this region. These tribes had developed complex cultures, and often used to meet and camp for trading near a large spring at the crossroads of two trails.
Between 1763 and 1783, the region that is now Dothan was part of the colony of British West Florida. European-American settlers moving through the area during the late 18th and early 19th centuries discovered the Indian spring, naming it "Poplar Head". Most felt that the sandy soil common to this region would be unsuitable for farming, so they moved on. A crude stockade was constructed on the Barber Plantation, where settlers could take refuge whenever they felt threatened. This fort disappeared by the 1840s, after the end of the Indian Wars in Alabama and the removal of most members of the Five Civilized Tribes to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Some Indians stayed in the region, becoming state and U.S. citizens by giving up their tribal membership.
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