How to Pick the Right Plumber Tech School near Huntsville Alabama
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing school near Huntsville AL. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many factors to examine. For example, some prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. After they have found some that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that must be considered. 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 picking a plumbing training school. We will cover 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 educational options that are accessible.
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 Huntsville AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Huntsville 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 Huntsville 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 Huntsville 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Huntsville AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Huntsville AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually 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 Huntsville 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 training programs 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 low completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher 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 will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Huntsville AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Huntsville AL plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the tools 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 concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Huntsville AL plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Huntsville AL home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s important that you receive 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 see how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Huntsville AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Huntsville AL, confirm that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.
Where to Find Accredited Tech Schools For Plumbers Huntsville Alabama
Selecting the right plumber trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Where to Find Accredited Tech Schools For Plumbers and wanting more information on the topic Where to Find Accelerated Plumber Classes. But as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Huntsville AL.
More Alabama Plumbing School Locations
Huntsville is a city in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. It is the county seat of Madison County but extends west into neighboring Limestone County and south into Morgan County.
It was founded in 1805 and became an incorporated town in 1811. The city grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.
The city's population was 180,105 in 2010, making it Alabama's fourth-largest city. Huntsville is the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area. The Huntsville metropolitan area's population was 417,593 in 2010, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in the state. The Huntsville metro's population reached 462,693 by 2018.
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