How to Become a Plumber near Alexandria Alabama
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing school near Alexandria AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many points to consider. For instance, some potential students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their home. When they have identified some that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that must be examined. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your final judgment when selecting a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in more 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 accessible.
Becoming a Plumber in Alexandria AL
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 Alexandria AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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.
What to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your training options. Since there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Alexandria AL region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research prior to enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Alexandria AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated 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 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 Alexandria 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers 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 broader directory of graduates, which may mean 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Alexandria AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Alexandria AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school 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, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Alexandria AL plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Alexandria AL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Alexandria AL and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Alexandria AL, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Plumbing School near Alexandria AL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Alexandria AL and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.
Alexandria (/ˌælɪɡˈzændriə/ or /-ˈzɑːnd-/;Egyptian Arabic: إسكندريه Eskendereyya; Arabic: الإسكندرية al-ʾIskandariyya; Coptic: ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ Alexandria or ⲣⲁⲕⲟϯ Rakote) is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.
Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great. It became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world; now replaced by a modern one); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.
From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.
Choose the Ideal Plumbing Vocational School near Alexandria AL
Picking the best plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. 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 plumbing training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Alexandria AL.
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