How to Become a Plumber near Vassalboro Maine
The initial step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing school near Vassalboro ME. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you undertake making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of factors to examine. For instance, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. After they have identified a few that are within commuting distance, they will pick the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, 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 graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when picking a plumber training school. We will discuss that checklist in more detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are available.
Becoming a Plumber in Vassalboro ME
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 Vassalboro ME plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Vassalboro ME 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 Vassalboro ME 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 Vassalboro ME 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 Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Vassalboro ME region, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Vassalboro ME school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Maine 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 Vassalboro ME 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Vassalboro ME area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught along 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 companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Vassalboro ME plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Vassalboro ME plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Vassalboro ME residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with several of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Vassalboro ME and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Vassalboro ME, confirm that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain 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 responsibilities.
Considering Plumbing School near Vassalboro ME?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Vassalboro ME and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.
Vassalboro (originally Vassalborough) is a town in Kennebec County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,340 at the 2010 census. Vassalboro includes the villages of Riverside, Getchell's Corner, North Vassalboro, and East Vassalboro, home to the town library and sports field. Vassalboro is included in the Augusta, Maine, micropolitan New England City and Town Area.
The town of Vassalboro was named for one of the proprietors of the Maine settlement, William Vassal (or Vassall), a descendant of one of the original patentees (and later deputy) of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and a wealthy merchant who eventually became a controversial Loyalist. Other historians believe the town derives its name from the original Massachusetts proprietor William Vassal himself, who clashed with John Winthrop so frequently that he removed himself to the town of Scituate, where he soon found himself embroiled in ecclesiastical controversy once again, prompting his move after a decade to Barbados, where he died.
On March 2, 1770, William Vassall, one of Vassalboro's early proprietors, conveyed to his niece Mary Prescott of Nova Scotia Lot Number 5 in Vassalboro, one of the so-called "Proprietor's Lots" reserved for the town's founders. Niece Prescott sold the lot nine months later to a citizen of Hallowell.
Pick the Right Plumber Tech School near Vassalboro ME
Choosing the best plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any plumbing training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Vassalboro ME.
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