How to Pick the Best Plumbing Tech School near Montgomery West Virginia
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing school near Montgomery WV. But with so many vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many variables to examine. For instance, many students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have identified some that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole qualifications that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your final decision when picking a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, 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 Montgomery WV plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Montgomery WV 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 Montgomery WV 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 Montgomery WV 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 diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Montgomery WV region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Montgomery WV program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some 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 determining if a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the West Virginia 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 Montgomery WV 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train 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 directory 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 will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Montgomery WV area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Montgomery WV plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Montgomery WV plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Montgomery WV home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 important that you receive as much individualized 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 instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Montgomery WV and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Montgomery WV, check that the programs you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Affordable Local Plumber Training Montgomery West Virginia
Selecting the right plumber trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Affordable Local Plumber Training and wanting more information on the topic Affordable Online Plumbing Schools Near Me. But 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 reviewing. It’s a necessity that any plumber training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Montgomery WV.
More West Virginia Plumbing School Locations
Montgomery, West Virginia
From 1876 to 1890, the town was called Coal Valley Post Office. The name then changed to Montgomery's Landing, then to Coal Valley. In 1890 it was again renamed, as Cannelton. It was incorporated on April 1, 1891, and the name Montgomery was settled upon; it was named for James C. Montgomery, one of the city's first settlers. The land was given to James Montgomery as a wedding present from his father-in-law, Levi Morris, who owned all the land.
The town's late-19th century growth was due to the construction of the Kanawha & Michigan Railroad across the river and the connection of the Virginian Railway at nearby Deepwater. In the early 1910s, Montgomery was the shipping center for 26 different coal operations and was the largest town in Fayette County at the time.
From 1895 until its 2017 move to Beckley, Montgomery was the home of West Virginia University Institute of Technology, popularly called WVU Tech. The city is currently home to BridgeValley Community and Technical College – Montgomery Campus.
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