How to Become a Plumber near Westfield New Jersey
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing school near Westfield NJ. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the right one? Especially because there are so many factors to consider. For example, some students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have found some that are within driving range, they will select the one with the least expensive tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that need to be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should help mold your final decision when choosing a plumber trade school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional options that are accessible.
Becoming a Plumber in Westfield NJ
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 Westfield NJ plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Westfield NJ 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 Westfield NJ 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 Westfield NJ 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
Now that you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Westfield NJ area, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following 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 vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Westfield NJ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the New Jersey 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 Westfield NJ 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 reviewing 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 signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified 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 directory of alumni, 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Westfield NJ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Westfield NJ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are currently 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 Westfield NJ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Westfield NJ home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Westfield NJ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Westfield NJ, check that the schools 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 protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Plumbing School near Westfield NJ?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Westfield NJ and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.
Westfield, New Jersey
Westfield is a town in Union County of New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 30,316, reflecting an increase of 672 (+2.3%) from the 29,644 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 774 (+2.7%) from the 28,870 counted in the 1990 Census. In March 2018, Bloomberg ranked Westfield as the 99th wealthiest place in the United States, and the 18th wealthiest in New Jersey. According to a 2014 nationwide survey, Westfield is considered to be the 30th-safest city to live in the United States.
The old village area, now the downtown district, was settled in 1720 as part of the Elizabethtown Tract. Westfield was originally formed as a township on January 27, 1794, from portions of Elizabeth Township, while the area was still part of Essex County, and was incorporated on February 21, 1798, as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature. It became part of the newly formed Union County on March 19, 1857. Portions of the township have been taken to form Rahway Township (February 27, 1804), Plainfield Township (April 5, 1847), Cranford Township (March 14, 1871), Fanwood Township (March 6, 1878; now known as Scotch Plains) and Mountainside (September 25, 1895). The Town of Westfield was incorporated on March 4, 1903, replacing Westfield Township. The name of the town is derived from its location in the western, undeveloped fields of the Elizabethtown tract.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 6.743 square miles (17.463 km2), including 6.719 square miles (17.401 km2) of land and 0.024 square miles (0.062 km2) of water (0.36%).
Choose the Ideal Plumber Trade School near Westfield NJ
Selecting the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the training programs you are considering. It’s a must that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Westfield NJ.
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