How to Become a Plumber near Enterprise Alabama
The first step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing school near Enterprise AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Especially since there are a number of points to consider. For example, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have identified a few that are within driving distance, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the only factors that must 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 influence your final decision when picking a plumber training school. We will talk about 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 accessible.
Becoming a Plumber in Enterprise 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 Enterprise AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Enterprise 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 Enterprise 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 Enterprise 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.
Things to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Enterprise AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Enterprise AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education. If you don’t know, 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 Enterprise 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 finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Enterprise 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 vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Enterprise AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools 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 with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Enterprise AL plumbing company if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Enterprise AL residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be increased 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 difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Enterprise AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Enterprise AL, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Plumbing School near Enterprise AL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Enterprise AL and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County near the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
Choose the Right Plumbing Vocational School near Enterprise AL
Choosing the best plumber training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any plumbing training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Enterprise AL.
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