Plumbing Training Schools near Mathews AL 36052

How to Pick a Plumbing Tech School near Mathews Alabama

Mathews AL plumber adjusting pipe on sinkThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Mathews AL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are a number of points to examine. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have found several that are within driving distance, they will pick the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber

Mathews AL plumber installing new faucetAlmost 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 Mathews 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 Mathews 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

Mathews AL plumbing tools and blueprintsThere 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 Mathews 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 Trade Schools

Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are so many Alabama plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Mathews AL area, it’s imperative 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 crucial when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous Mathews AL area plumbing trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as plumbing technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited Alabama programs. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school near Mathews AL 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 Alabama 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 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 course. A lower completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified 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 broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Mathews AL area contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating Mathews AL area vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with area plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical 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 in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Mathews AL plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.

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

Are there Smaller Classes?  It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Alabama and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Mathews AL, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those choices.  Also, if you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Why Did You Want to Be a Plumber?

When getting ready to interview for a Plumber job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask Plumber applicants is "What drove you to decide on Plumbing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Plumber, 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, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Plumber and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.

Select the Right Plumbing Trade School near Mathews AL

Selecting the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any plumbing training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional plumber in Mathews AL.

Background on Mathews Alabama

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