How to Pick a Plumbing Tech School near Trussville Alabama
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing trade school near Trussville AL. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are a number of variables to consider. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have identified several that are within driving range, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that need to be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will talk about 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
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 Trussville 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 Trussville 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 Trussville 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
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Because there are numerous Alabama plumbing tech and trade schools in the Trussville AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about 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 added qualifiers that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many Trussville AL area plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance plumbing technology. Verify that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited Alabama programs. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school near Trussville 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 is responsible for 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 reviewing 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 could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory 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 will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Trussville AL area contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating Trussville AL area trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Trussville AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Trussville AL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of expertise is in Alabama and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those options. Also, if you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Plumber?When getting ready to interview for a Plumber position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask Plumber prospects is "What made you choose Plumbing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Plumbing Contractor, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to Plumbing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent Plumbing Contractor and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Plumber Trade School near Trussville AL
Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any plumber training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor 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 proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional plumber in Trussville AL.
Background on Trussville Alabama
Trussville is a city in Jefferson and St. Clair counties in the State of Alabama. It is a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its estimated 2015 population was 21,023.
Trussville has been recognized as one of the most livable cities in the state and country. It was named one of the ten best towns in Alabama for young families, listed among the five best Birmingham suburbs, and included in Money magazine's list of 100 best places to live in America.
Trussville is located at 33°37′18″N 86°35′47″W / 33.62167°N 86.59639°W / 33.62167; -86.59639 (33.621623, -86.596404).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.3 square miles (58 km2), of which 22.2 square miles (57 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.27%) is water.
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