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Find Plumbing Schools near me in Athens AL 35611

How to Become a Plumber near Athens Alabama

Athens AL plumber installing faucetThe first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing school near Athens AL. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of points to examine. For example, many students will commence by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Although location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that need to be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should influence your final decision when choosing a plumbing trade 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 instructional options that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber in Athens AL

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

  • Apprentice. The majority of Athens 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 Athens 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 Athens 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 Vocational Schools

Athens AL plumbing school graduate with sinkNow that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Athens AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to enrolling in a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Athens AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some 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, 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 usually controlled and regulated 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 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 Athens 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also signify 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 more extensive list of alumni, 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 a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Athens AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Athens AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Athens AL plumbing contracting company if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Athens AL residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Athens AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Athens AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows 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.

Considering Plumbing School near Athens AL?

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

Athens, Alabama

Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.

Founded in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll, and John Read, Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the State of Alabama, having been incorporated one year prior to the state's admittance to the Union in 1819. Limestone County was also created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818.[2][8] The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient city in Greece. The town's first mayor was Samuel Tanner, and the Tanner area, south of Athens, was named on his behalf.[9]

The Athens area was the home of William Wyatt Bibb, the first Governor of Alabama, and its second Governor, his brother Thomas Bibb, who succeeded him in office when he died in a fall from his horse.[10]

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Choose the Ideal Plumbing Vocational School near Athens AL

plumbing tools of the trade in Athens ALPicking the right plumber trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Athens AL.

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