How to Become a Plumber near Lincoln Alabama
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing school near Lincoln AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many factors to examine. For instance, many prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though location and cost are important, they are not the sole qualifications that should be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final decision when picking a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training options that are offered.
Becoming a Plumber in Lincoln 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 Lincoln AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Lincoln 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 Lincoln 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 Lincoln 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
When you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Lincoln AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Lincoln AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that 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 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 Lincoln 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors 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 more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Lincoln AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber technical 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 within their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Lincoln AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Lincoln AL plumbing contractor if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Lincoln AL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training 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 witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Lincoln AL and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lincoln AL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Plumbing School near Lincoln AL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Lincoln AL and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.
Albert Lincoln Roker Jr. (born August 20, 1954) is an American weather forecaster, journalist, television personality, actor, and author. He is the current weather anchor on NBC's Today. Roker also appears occasionally as a co-anchor on NBC Nightly News. He has an inactive American Meteorological Society Television Seal #238.
On November 12, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Roker attempted to beat the unofficial world record for an uninterrupted live weather report of 33 hours held by Norwegian weather broadcaster Eli Kari Gjengedal. On November 14, 2014, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Roker set the Guinness World Record by reporting for 34 hours. On the December 14, 2018 episode of the Today Show, Al Roker was on honored for 40 years at NBC. The Today Show Plaza was officially named the Rokerfeller Plaza in his honor.
Al Roker was born in Queens, New York, the son of Isabel, of Jamaican descent, and Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., a bus driver of Bahamian descent. Roker initially wanted to be a cartoonist. He was raised Catholic (in the faith of his mother) and graduated from Xavier High School in Manhattan. He worked on several projects as a member of the school's Cartooning & Illustration Club. He attended the State University of New York at Oswego where he received a B.A. in communications in 1976.
Enroll in the Right Plumbing Tech School near Lincoln AL
Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any plumbing training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Lincoln AL.
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