How to Become a Plumber near Pleasant Grove Alabama
The first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing school near Pleasant Grove AL. But with numerous technical schools to select from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many points to examine. For instance, some potential students will begin by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have found a few that are within driving range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational choices that are available.
Becoming a Plumber in Pleasant Grove 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 Pleasant Grove AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Pleasant Grove 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 Pleasant Grove 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 Pleasant Grove 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.
What to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Pleasant Grove AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to research before selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Pleasant Grove AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education. If you’re not sure, 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 Pleasant Grove 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest 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 alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 employment in the Pleasant Grove AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Pleasant Grove AL plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Pleasant Grove AL plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Pleasant Grove AL home. Remember 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 desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger 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 teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Pleasant Grove AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pleasant Grove AL, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Plumbing School near Pleasant Grove AL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Pleasant Grove AL and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.
Pleasant Grove, Alabama
It was established in 1889, but incorporated as a city in January 1937. The incorporation came about by reason of a rather unusual circumstance. The town sits on land honeycombed by coal mines. For many years the residents had relied on water wells for their water supply. As years passed and more mining was done, Pleasant Grove found itself confronted with a problem. Residents would sometimes go to their well to draw water only to find there was none. The water had gone into the mines.
During the mid to late 30s, the Federal Government had a program for financing the building of local water systems. In exploring the possibility of securing such funds, it was revealed that in order to secure such financing a community must be legally incorporated. At this time the incorporation became a reality.
The first appointed Mayor of Pleasant Grove was W.P. Stone. The city is governed by a mayor and five council members who serve four-year terms. Elections for city officials is held during the summer of each leap year with four-year terms beginning the first Monday in October. The area known as Pleasant Grove, Alabama was first homesteaded in September 1836. Pleasant Grove is in Jefferson County. Although no one seems to know when or exactly how the town came by its name, old documents indicate that at least part of this area was called Pleasant Grove as early as 1884. Pleasant Grove was made up of four communities which included Frog Pond, Lizard Ridge, Cottage Hill, and Pleasant Grove.
Find the Right Plumber Technical School near Pleasant Grove AL
Selecting the right plumbing training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any plumber training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Pleasant Grove AL.
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