How to Choose the Right Plumber Vocational School near Harvest Alabama
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is finding a plumbing school near Harvest AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are so many variables to evaluate. For example, many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. When they have found a few that are within commuting range, they will choose the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important, they are not the sole factors that need to be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should help mold your ultimate judgment when selecting a plumbing training school. We will address that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are accessible.
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 Harvest AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Harvest 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 Harvest 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 Harvest 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 Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Harvest AL area, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Harvest AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you acquire a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it 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 controlled and regulated 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 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 Harvest 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which can result in 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment in the Harvest 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 trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Harvest AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Harvest AL plumbing company if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within driving distance of your Harvest AL residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Harvest AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Harvest AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.
Accredited Plumbing Technical Schools Harvest Alabama
Choosing the right plumbing trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Accredited Plumbing Technical Schools and wanting more information on the topic Plumbing Education. But as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the training programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure 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 Harvest AL.
More Plumbing School Locations in Alabama
Harvest is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in the northwestern part of Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the community is 5,281.
In the late 1800's through early 1900's, Harvest saw growth and development due to extension of the Fayetteville, TN rail yard along the existing Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis (NC&StL) Railroad. In the early-mid 1900's Harvest was centered around the railroad, between Capshaw and Toney, presently known as Old Railroad Bed Rd. Many early settlers in the Harvest area were from the Fayetteville, TN. April 20, 1929, the NC&StL Railroad Company sold the property and roadbed running through Madison County to the County Highway Department with a quitclaim deed. Today, the roadbed is marked as a two-lane roadway that continues to serve as a vital link in the modern day-to-day transportation network, and carries the seemingly appropriate name “Old Railroad Bed Road”. Elder members of the Harvest community recall a significant Native American presence in the area, primarily along the railroad areas.
On April 3, 1974, during the 1974 Super Outbreak, two F5 tornadoes struck the community within 30 minutes of each other. Most of Harvest, primarily along the Old Railroad Bed area, along with nearby communities such as Tanner, was destroyed. Fifty people were killed by the tornadoes.
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