How to Select the Right Plumber Trade School near Rockford Alabama
The initial step to becoming a plumbing contractor or tradesman is finding a plumbing school near Rockford AL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you tackle making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of points to evaluate. For example, some prospective students will begin by searching for schools that are close to their home. Once they have found a few that are within commuting distance, they will decide on the one with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the sole things that must be considered. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and other qualifiers should influence your final decision when picking a plumbing training school. We will discuss that checklist in greater detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming a plumber and the instructional 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 Rockford AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Rockford 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 Rockford 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 Rockford 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.
Points to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Rockford AL area, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze before selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Rockford AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually 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 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 Rockford 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 program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Rockford AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction 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 companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Rockford AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Rockford AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Rockford AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Rockford AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Rockford AL, verify that the schools 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, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Plumber Education Rockford Alabama
Picking the best plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Plumber Education and wanting more information on the topic Courses For Plumbers. But as we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any plumbing training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Rockford AL.
More Plumbing School Locations in Alabama
Rockford is a town in Coosa County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 477. The town is the county seat of Coosa County and is part of the Talladega-Sylacauga Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Coosa County was created by an act of the Alabama State Legislature on December 18, 1832 and a site on Hatchet Creek was chosen as the county seat and given the name Lexington. In 1835 the name was changed to Rockford.
As of the census of 2000, there were 428 people, 189 households, and 113 families residing in the town. The population density was 129.6 inhabitants per square mile (50.0/km2). There were 226 housing units at an average density of 68.5 per square mile (26.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 65.65% White, 32.48% Black or African American, 0.23% Pacific Islander, and 1.64% from two or more races. 1.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 10