How to Pick a Plumbing Training School near Rainsville Alabama
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing trade school near Rainsville AL. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are so many factors to examine. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have found several that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that need to be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are offered.
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 Rainsville 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 Rainsville 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 Rainsville 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous Alabama plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Rainsville AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous Rainsville AL area plumbing technical schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance plumbing technology. Make sure that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited Alabama schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school near Rainsville 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 is responsible for 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 of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Rainsville AL area contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating Rainsville AL area technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working relationships with area plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art 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 expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Rainsville AL plumbing contracting company if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Rainsville AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s desirable that you get 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 observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few 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? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Rainsville AL, verify that the programs 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, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family issues.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Plumber?When preparing to interview for a Plumber position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask Plumber applicants 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 becoming a Plumbing Contractor, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to Plumbing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding Plumber and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal Plumbing Trade School near Rainsville AL
Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any plumber training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional plumber in Rainsville AL.
Background on Rainsville Alabama
Rainsville is a city in DeKalb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,948, up from 4,499 in 2000. Rainsville is located on top of Sand Mountain, a southern extension of the Cumberland Plateau.
Rainsville was incorporated in October 1956.
An EF5 tornado struck the city on April 27, 2011, leaving 25 fatalities. It initially touched down 10 miles (16 km) to the southwest in Lakeview, causing structural damage to small buildings and snapping trees. It grew in intensity, and the path width increased from around fifty yards to a half a mile, as the rotation entered the Rainsville and Sylvania communities. Damage included houses that were completely removed from foundations and debris scattered for about one mile, trees debarked, and a few mobile homes were destroyed with debris strewn for about a mile downstream. In Sylvania, some of these houses removed from foundations contained anchor bolts and foundation straps.
Rainsville is located northwest of the center of DeKalb County at 34°29′32″N 85°50′43″W / 34.49222°N 85.84528°W / 34.49222; -85.84528 (34.492258, -85.845316). It is bordered to the northeast by Sylvania, to the northwest by Powell, to the southwest by Shiloh, and to the southeast by Pine Ridge.
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