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Find Plumbing Schools near me in Decatur AL 35601

How to Become a Plumber near Decatur Alabama

Decatur AL plumber installing faucetThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing school near Decatur AL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, many potential students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located some that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Although location and cost are of importance, they are not the only things that must be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will cover 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 in Decatur AL

Decatur AL plumber repairing water mainAlmost 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 Decatur AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Decatur 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 Decatur 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 Decatur 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.

Topics to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools

Decatur AL plumbing school graduate with sinkOnce you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Decatur AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing vocational schools have received 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 an individual program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Decatur AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade 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 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 Decatur 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Decatur AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Most plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Decatur AL 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 school 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Decatur AL plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Decatur AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction 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. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Decatur AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Decatur AL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Considering Plumbing School near Decatur AL?

If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Decatur AL and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.

Decatur, Alabama

Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the State of Alabama. The city, nicknamed "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County.[6] The population in 2010 was 55,683.[3]

Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second-largest city.

Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, cargo transit, and high-tech industries such as General Electric and United Launch Alliance.

The location could not be found.

Find the Ideal Plumbing Trade School near Decatur AL

plumbing tools of the trade in Decatur ALSelecting the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any plumber training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Decatur AL.

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