How to Enroll in the Right Plumber School near Greenville Alabama
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing school near Greenville AL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of points to examine. For instance, many prospective students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have located several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final decision when picking a plumber training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options 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 local Greenville AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Greenville AL 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 Greenville 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 educational options available near Greenville AL 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 local 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 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 Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Greenville AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Greenville AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, 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 determining if a trade school you’re considering 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 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 Greenville AL 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Greenville AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Greenville AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Greenville AL plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Greenville AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Greenville AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Greenville AL, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Where to Find Local Plumbing Training Near Me Greenville Alabama
Selecting the best plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Where to Find Local Plumbing Training Near Me and wanting more information on the topic Where to Find Online Plumbing Courses. But as we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Greenville AL.
More Alabama Plumbing School Locations
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,135. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the official Alabama state flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in Greenville with legislative sponsors LaMont Glass and H.B. Taylor.
Greenville was first settled in 1819. Its original name was Buttsville, but after becoming the county seat in 1822, its name was changed to Greenville, in remembrance of the former locale in South Carolina of many of the original settlers. The first county seat was at Fort Dale, a fortification that was named for Sam Dale, who fought to defend the area during the Creek War. The site of Fort Dale lies on the north of the city near the Fort Dale Cemetery, along what is now Alabama Highway 185.
The namesake of the county, Captain William Butler, was killed during the Creek War. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is across from the oldest church in Butler County, the First United Methodist Church of Greenville.