How to Become a Plumber near Windham Maine
The initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing school near Windham ME. But with numerous technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the best one? Especially because there are a number of factors to evaluate. For example, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are close to their home. When they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are significant, they are not the sole factors that need to be evaluated. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are available.
Becoming a Plumber in Windham ME
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 Windham ME plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Windham ME 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 Windham ME 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 Windham ME 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.
Topics to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Windham ME area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Windham ME program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require 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 determining if a trade 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 Maine Department of Education. If you’re not sure, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Windham ME 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Windham ME area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Windham ME plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently 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 Windham ME plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Windham ME residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to 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 individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Windham ME and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs 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 Windham ME, verify that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, 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 because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering Plumbing School near Windham ME?
If you are considering enrolling in and attending a plumber training school near Windham ME and are unfamiliar with the area, following is some interesting and useful background information regarding the location of your future school campus.
Windham is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 17,001 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of South Windham and North Windham. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The township was granted in 1734 by the Massachusetts General Court to Abraham Howard, Joseph Blaney and 58 others from Marblehead, Massachusetts. In 1737, New Marblehead Plantation was settled by Captain Thomas Chute. By order of the Massachusetts General Court, a fort was built in spring of 1744 on a hill in the southern part of town near the early center of settlement to offer protection during King George's War. A 50-foot square blockhouse constructed of 12-inch thick hewn hemlock had an overhanging second story with firing ports and two swivel guns in watch posts on diagonal corners. The blockhouse was surrounded by a stockade wall of 12-inch diameter log posts 16 feet long. The single gate through the stockade wall was covered by a 4.2-inch (11 cm) bore 9-pounder cannon within the blockhouse.
The town's inhabitants took shelter in the stockade between 1745 and 1751. The last Indian attack on the town occurred on May 14, 1756. New Marblehead Plantation was incorporated on June 12, 1762 as Windham, named for Wymondham in Norfolk, England. Windham Minutemen marched to Portland in response to the Burning of Falmouth on 18 October 1775 and sixteen men were drafted from the town for the Penobscot Expedition. Thirteen Windham men are reported as being members of the Continental Army with George Washington's American Revolutionary War winter encampment at Valley Forge. Windham's 9-pounder cannon and one swivel gun from the stockade blockhouse were loaned to Portland in 1775. Portland had refused to surrender these guns to Captain Henry Mowat as he demanded before he burned the town; and they were placed aboard the privateer Reprieve in 1776.
Pick the Ideal Plumber Tech School near Windham ME
Choosing the ideal plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any plumber tech school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Windham ME.
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