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Find Plumbing Schools near me in Wilmington MA 01887

How to Become a Plumber near Wilmington Massachusetts

Wilmington MA plumber installing faucetThe first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing school near Wilmington MA. But with so many technical schools to select from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to consider. For instance, some potential students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their residence. When they have identified several that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the only things that need to be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final judgment when selecting a plumber trade school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are offered.

Becoming a Plumber in Wilmington MA

Wilmington MA 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 Wilmington MA plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Wilmington MA 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 Wilmington MA 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 Wilmington MA 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

Wilmington MA plumbing school graduate with sinkNow that you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Wilmington MA area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Wilmington MA program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify 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 controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Massachusetts Department of Education.  If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Wilmington MA 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 indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Wilmington MA area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Wilmington MA plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Wilmington MA plumbing contracting company if they can provide some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Wilmington MA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It’s important that you receive 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 see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Wilmington MA and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Wilmington MA, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make 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 emergencies.

Considering Plumbing School near Wilmington MA?

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

Wilmington, Massachusetts

Wilmington was first settled in 1665 and was officially incorporated in 1730, from parts of Woburn, Reading, and Billerica. The first settler is believed to have been Will Butter, Richard Harnden or Abraham Jaquith. Butter was brought to Woburn as an indentured captive. Once he attained his freedom, he fled to the opposite side of a large swamp, in what is now Wilmington. Harnden settled in Reading, in an area that is now part of Wilmington. Jaquith settled in an area of Billerica that became part of Wilmington in 1737.

The Middlesex Canal passed through Wilmington. Chartered in 1792, opened in 1803, it provided freight and passenger transport between the Merrimack River and Boston. One important cargo on the canal was hops. From the middle of the 18th century until the early 19th century, Massachusetts was the acknowledged leader in hop production in North America. Middlesex County in particular was famous for its hop yards, and Wilmington was the first place where the culture grew to a fever pitch.[1]

The Boston and Lowell Railroad was built in 1835. The line is now the oldest operating rail line in the U.S. Wilmington is also served by the Haverhill Division (the old B&M Portland Division). A spur track known as the Wildcat connects the Haverhill and Lowell divisions, following the path of the old Wilmington & Andover Railroad, the corporate ancestor of the Boston & Maine.

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Pick the Right Plumbing Trade School near Wilmington MA

plumbing tools of the trade in Wilmington MAPicking the best plumbing training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any plumber training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Wilmington MA.

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