Plumber Trade School Homewood AL

How to Find the Right Plumbing School near Homewood Alabama

Homewood AL plumbing contractor installing sinkThe initial step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is enrolling in a plumbing school near Homewood AL. But with numerous technical schools to choose from, just how do you undertake making certain that you enroll in the right one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, many prospective students will start by looking for schools that are close to their residence. Once they have located some that are within commuting distance, they will choose the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are of importance, they are not the sole factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, in addition to their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifiers should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing a plumbing training school. We will address that checklist in more detail later in this article. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the educational options that are accessible.

Becoming a Plumber

Homewood AL plumber installing sink faucetAlmost 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 Homewood AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Homewood 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 Homewood AL is to enroll in a plumbing technology program that will provide the comprehensive quality training needed to embark on this challenging career.

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Plumbing Certificate and Degree Programs

Homewood AL plumber repairing water lineThere are several educational options available near Homewood 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

When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Because there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Homewood AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting a plumber trade school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Homewood AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, some states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education.  If you don’t know, 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 Homewood 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 or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It’s also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Homewood AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Homewood AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Homewood AL plumbing contracting company if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Homewood AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees 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 challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Homewood AL and what certifications or degrees 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 are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Homewood AL, verify that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.

Plumber Trade School Homewood Alabama

Homewood AL plumber installing pipe fittingSelecting the right plumbing trade school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Plumber Trade School and wanting more information on the topic Plumber Technical Schools. But as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any plumbing training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Homewood AL.

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    Homewood, Alabama

    Homewood is a city in southeastern Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is a suburb of Birmingham, located on the other side of Red Mountain due south of the city center. As of the 2010 census its population was 25,167,[3] and in 2016 the estimated population was 25,613.[4]

    The first settlers of the area which would eventually become Homewood arrived in the early 1800s. The area's population, however, did not grow significantly until Birmingham suffered a major cholera epidemic in 1873 (See Timeline of Birmingham, Alabama).

    Speculators soon began buying up land and developing communities in the countryside surrounding Birmingham. Many of the smaller communities which would eventually become Homewood were developed during this time period, including Rosedale, Grove Park, Edgewood, and Oak Grove.

     

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