How to Become a Plumber near Scottsboro Alabama
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing school near Scottsboro AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly since there are so many points to examine. For example, some potential students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have located several that are within commuting distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are significant, they are not the sole qualifications that should be considered. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate judgment when choosing a plumber training school. We will cover that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are accessible.
Becoming a Plumber in Scottsboro 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 Scottsboro AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Scottsboro 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 Scottsboro 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 Scottsboro 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.
Things to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Scottsboro AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Scottsboro AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education. If you’re not sure, 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 Scottsboro 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Scottsboro AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Scottsboro AL plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local 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 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 expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Scottsboro AL plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Scottsboro AL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Scottsboro AL and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, check that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Plumbing School near Scottsboro AL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Scottsboro AL and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.
Scottsboro is a city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 14,770. Named for its founder Robert T. Scott, the city is the county seat of Jackson County.
From its incorporation in 1870 until 1890, it was the largest community in Jackson County, losing the distinction from 1900 to 1920 to Bridgeport, but reclaiming the title in 1930 and holding it since that time.
It is located 30 miles each from the state boundaries of Georgia to the east (Dade County) and Tennessee to the north, about 45 miles from Huntsville, Alabama to the west and about 55 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to the northeast.
Enroll in the Ideal Plumber Technical School near Scottsboro AL
Selecting the best plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Scottsboro AL.
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