How to Pick a Plumbing Trade School near Excel Alabama
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing trade school near Excel AL. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, many students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located several that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the sole factors that should be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your final judgment when picking a plumbing training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are available.
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 Excel 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 Excel 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 Excel 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.
Topics to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are so many Alabama plumbing tech and trade schools in the Excel AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous Excel AL area plumbing technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance plumbing technology. Verify that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited Alabama programs. Furthermore, some 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 confirming that a trade school near Excel AL you’re reviewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Alabama 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 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Excel AL area contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating Excel AL area trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with area plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school 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, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Excel AL plumbing contracting company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Excel AL residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Alabama and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Excel AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Plumber?When prepping to interview for a Plumber job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask Plumbing candidates is "What compelled you to select Plumbing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Plumbing Contractor, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Plumbing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding Plumber and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Right Plumbing Trade School near Excel AL
Selecting the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any plumbing training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional plumber in Excel AL.
Background on Excel Alabama
Excel is a town in Monroe County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 723. The current mayor is Jenny Countryman.
Excel is the birthplace of former University of Alabama and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan. Excel High School (3A) provides education for children in and around the town of Excel. Businesses within the town include Dollar General, post office, a "do-it-yourself" car wash, a laundromat, hardware store, a locally-run diner and one bank.
Excel incorporated in February 1948.
Excel is located at 31°25′38″N 87°20′26″W / 31.42722°N 87.34056°W / 31.42722; -87.34056 (31.427308, -87.340587).
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