How to Choose the Best Plumber Course near Atmore Alabama
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is locating a plumbing school near Atmore AL. But with numerous vocational schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making sure that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially because there are so many points to examine. For instance, some prospective students will commence by looking for schools that are close to their home. Once they have located some that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. Although cost and location are important, they are not the sole things that must be considered. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and additional qualifiers should contribute toward your ultimate decision when picking a plumbing trade school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this post. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are offered.
Becoming a Plumber
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 Atmore AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Atmore 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 Atmore 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 Atmore 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 Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Since there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Atmore AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Atmore AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering 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’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 Atmore 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important 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 validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Atmore AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber training 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 within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Atmore AL plumbers or plumbing companies. 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? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date 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 expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Atmore AL plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Atmore AL home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees 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 sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Atmore AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Atmore AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Plumbing Schools Atmore Alabama
Selecting the ideal plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Plumbing Schools and wanting more information on the topic Plumbing Vocational Schools. But as we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any plumbing tech school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Atmore AL.
More Plumbing School Locations in Alabama
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 10,006 in 2014. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.
Atmore has completed requirements to be recognized as an Alabama Community of Excellence at the upcoming Alabama League of Municipalities Convention. City officials are also working with the Alabama Historical Commission to have the downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Atmore is located in western Escambia County at 31°1′23″N 87°29′31″W / 31.02306°N 87.49194°W / 31.02306; -87.49194 (31.023183, -87.492067). Its southern border is the Florida state line. The center of town is at the intersection of U.S. Route 31 and Alabama State Route 21, while a new section of the city has been incorporated 6 miles (10 km) to the north around Exit 57 of Interstate 65. US 31 leads southwest 20 miles (32 km) to Bay Minette and east 28 miles (45 km) to Brewton. Mobile is 51 miles (82 km) to the southwest via US 31 and I-65, while Pensacola, Florida, is 49 miles (79 km) south via AL 21, Florida State Road 97, and U.S. Route 29.
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