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Find Plumbing Schools near me in Leeds AL 35094

How to Become a Plumber near Leeds Alabama

Leeds AL plumber installing faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing school near Leeds AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are a number of factors to examine. For example, some potential students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the most affordable tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the only factors that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your ultimate decision when selecting a plumber training school. We will cover that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber in Leeds AL

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

  • Apprentice. The majority of Leeds 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 Leeds 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 Leeds 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 Training Schools

Leeds AL plumbing school graduate with sinkWhen you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Leeds AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Leeds AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering 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 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 Leeds 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s also important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive 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 validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Leeds AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Leeds AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the regional 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, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Leeds AL plumbing contracting company if they can provide some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Leeds AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Leeds AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the schools 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 Leeds AL, verify that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Considering Plumbing School near Leeds AL?

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

Leeds, Alabama

Leeds is a tri-county municipality located in Jefferson, St. Clair, and Shelby counties in the State of Alabama and is an eastern suburb of Birmingham. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 11,773.

The War of 1812, geography, geology, and three cultures shaped the history of Leeds. Lying at the crossroads of ancient Native-American paths in the center of Alabama, Leeds drew European and African-American settlers to a land of fertile growing seasons and rich sources of coal and mineral ore. The early settlers built churches and schools with many remaining in Cedar Grove, Oak Ridge, Ohanafeefee and Mt. Pleasant. The principal survey of Leeds was entered into Jefferson County Map Book 10, page 21, in 1908. The settlement, dating to 1818 and incorporating on April 27, 1887[4] as "Leeds", has existed along the banks of the Little Cahaba River; beside an historic stagecoach route; and along two large railroads for the greater part of American History.[5]

James Hamilton, a Scottish-Irish American veteran of the War of 1812 and first sheriff of Shelby County, settled in Cedar Grove in 1816. John Richard Ingram Pashal Stewart, a Cherokee English teacher and American veteran of the War of 1812, settled at Ohanafeefee Village c.1840. At Oak Ridge in 1820 or 1821, European settlers formed Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the first CPC congregation in middle Alabama. By 1887, the original railroad pioneers included free African-American settlers who came to work at the Leeds cement plant and the Central of Georgia as the Georgia Pacific railroads. Some gravitated to historic Mt. Pleasant Church where a handful of freed slaves had founded Scott City, Hillard Holley, Ciscero Davis, Jeff Harris, and Bill Johnson started Leeds Negro/Primary School in 1921.[5]

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Choose the Right Plumbing Technical School near Leeds AL

plumbing tools of the trade in Leeds ALPicking the ideal plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any plumbing training program 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 instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Leeds AL.

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