How to Enroll in the Right Plumber School near Atmore Alabama
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing school near Atmore AL. But with so many technical schools to choose from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many factors to examine. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are of importance, 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 qualifiers should influence your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are available.
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 Atmore AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Atmore 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 Atmore 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 Atmore 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Atmore AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Atmore AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it can help in acquiring 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 for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering 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 don’t know, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Atmore 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Atmore AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Atmore AL plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art 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. If not, ask a local Atmore AL plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Atmore AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher 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 students and instructors. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Atmore AL and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Atmore AL, check that the schools you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Plumber Schools Atmore Alabama
Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Plumber Schools and wanting more information on the topic Schools For Plumbing License. But as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Atmore AL.
More Alabama Plumbing School Locations
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 9,354 in 2018. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.
Atmore has completed requirements to be recognized as an Alabama Community of Excellence at the upcoming Alabama League of Municipalities Convention. City officials are also working with the Alabama Historical Commission to have the downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Atmore was first recorded as a stop (Williams Station) on the Mobile and Great Northern Railroad. The town was named after C.P. Atmore, General Passenger Agent of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, who was a friend of Mr. Carney, who owned a sawmill in town and was a prominent citizen. The town was originally going to be named "Carney", but Mr. Carney had a brother who had already established a town and named it Carney nearby. The town then decided to let Mr. Carney name the town. He named it after his close friend Mr. Atmore, who never visited Atmore.
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