How to Become a Plumber near Summerdale Alabama
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing school near Summerdale AL. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making sure that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are so many points to evaluate. For example, some students will start by looking for schools that are close to their home. After they have located several that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. Even though cost and location are of importance, they are not the only factors that should be examined. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will discuss 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 offered.
Becoming a Plumber in Summerdale 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 Summerdale AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Summerdale 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 Summerdale 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 Summerdale 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
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Summerdale AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional 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 schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Summerdale AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 Summerdale 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 training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ 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 grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Summerdale AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber trade programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Summerdale AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides 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? Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Summerdale AL plumbing contractor if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Summerdale AL home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Summerdale AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Summerdale AL, verify that the programs you are reviewing 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, 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 Summerdale AL?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Summerdale AL and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.
Summerdale is a rural town in south-central Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. It is the site of the Naval Outlying Field Summerdale. At the 2010 census the population was 862. It is part of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Summerdale is located at 30°29'15.468" North, 87°42'4.036" West (30.487630, -87.701121).Alabama State Route 59 passes along the west side of the town, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to Robertsdale and south 6 miles (10 km) to Foley.
As of the census of 2000, there were 655 people, 255 households, and 184 families residing in the town. The population density was 125.7 people per square mile (48.5/km²). There were 282 housing units at an average density of 54.1 per square mile (20.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.23% White, 4.89% Black or African American, 1.07% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.92% from other races, and 2.75% from two or more races. Nearly 2.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Ideal Plumbing Trade School near Summerdale AL
Choosing the best plumbing trade school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed 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 necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Summerdale AL.
Other Top Cities in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 32