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Find Plumbing Schools near me in Northport AL 35473

How to Become a Plumber near Northport Alabama

Northport AL plumber installing faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing school near Northport AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many factors to consider. For example, many potential students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. After they have identified several that are within driving distance, they will choose the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the only things that need to be examined. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber trade school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are available.

Becoming a Plumber in Northport AL

Northport 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 Northport AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Northport 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 Northport 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 Northport 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 Tech Schools

Northport AL plumbing school graduate with sinkNow that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Northport AL region, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Northport AL program 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 get a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education.  If you don’t know, ask the school which state agency is responsible for 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 Northport 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Northport AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction 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 businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Northport AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Northport AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Northport AL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It’s desirable that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Northport AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure 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 Northport AL, verify that the programs you are considering provide those choices. 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 protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.

Considering Plumbing School near Northport AL?

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

Northport, Alabama

Northport is a city in Tuscaloosa County in the west central part of the State of Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River across from downtown Tuscaloosa, it is currently the 21st largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of 24,497 in 2013.[3] It incorporated in 1871.[6] It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area.

As Northport is adjacent to the larger city of Tuscaloosa, many residents work in Tuscaloosa or other parts of Tuscaloosa County. Although the two cities share a land boundary, much of their boundary (and historically all of the boundary) is the Black Warrior River.

As of the census of 2000, there were 19,435 people, 7,844 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.3 people per square mile (512.9/km²). There were 8,509 housing units at an average density of 581.6 per square mile (224.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.11% White, 26.03% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The location could not be found.

Select the Right Plumber Trade School near Northport AL

plumbing tools of the trade in Northport ALPicking the right plumber training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any plumbing training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Northport AL.

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