How to Pick a Plumbing Technical School near Jacksonville Alabama
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Jacksonville AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially since there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have located several that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in greater 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 Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many Alabama plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Jacksonville AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below 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 Jacksonville AL area plumbing technical schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as plumbing technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited Alabama schools. Additionally, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order 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 Jacksonville AL you’re reviewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to train 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 employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Jacksonville AL area contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating Jacksonville AL area trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with area plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Jacksonville AL plumbing contracting company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Jacksonville AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Alabama and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Jacksonville AL, verify that the programs you are considering provide those options. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Plumber?When preparing to interview for a Plumbing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask Plumber prospects is "What made you choose Plumbing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a Plumbing Contractor, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to Plumbing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent Plumbing Contractor and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Plumber Vocational School near Jacksonville AL
Selecting the right plumbing training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any plumber tech school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ 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 program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few 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 proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional plumber in Jacksonville AL.
Background on Jacksonville Alabama
Jacksonville is a city in Calhoun County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 12,548, which is a 49% increase since 2000. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Jacksonville State University is located here, which is a center of commerce and one of the largest employers in the area.
Jacksonville was founded in 1833 on land purchased from Creek Indian Chief "Du-Hoag" Ladiga. First called Drayton, the town was renamed to honor President Andrew Jackson in 1834. There are a couple Civil War monuments in town, including a statue of Major John Pelham in the city cemetery and a statue of a Confederate soldier in the middle of the square. Jacksonville served as the county seat for Calhoun County until the 20th century when it moved to Anniston. Jacksonville State University was founded here in 1883.
An EF3 tornado hit Jacksonville on March 19, 2018, causing extensive damage to the city and Jacksonville State University, almost $42 million in damages. The relatively low amount of casualties, specifically just four injuries, was attributed by some to the fact that the university was on spring break at the time. More than 1,000 volunteers assisted in the immediate tornado relief. Caleb Howard, then a senior at Jacksonville State University, said that "[i]t's been amazing to see the university and the community come together." Classes resumed at the university the following month. Although the university's usual site for graduation, Pete Mathews Coliseum, was damaged in the tornado along with over 20 other buildings, the first spring graduation since the tornado proceeded as scheduled on May 4 outside the football stadium. Dr. John Beeler, the university's president, said "It's a joyous event generally because you're celebrating the accomplishments of all your graduates, but it's an even more joyous event because to me it's a celebration of how far we've come in a short time in recovering from these tornadoes."
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians, Jacksonville is located at 33°48'56.758" North, 85°45'37.681" West (33.815766, -85.760467).
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