Becoming A Plumbing Apprentice Somerville AL

How to Enroll in the Right Plumbing School near Somerville Alabama

Somerville AL plumbing contractor installing sinkThe first step to learning to be a plumbing contractor or tradesman is enrolling in a plumbing school near Somerville AL. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly since there are a number of variables to consider. For example, many prospective students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their home. After they have identified several that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only qualifications that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final judgment when selecting a plumber trade school. We will talk about 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 training options that are available.

Becoming a Plumber

Somerville 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 Somerville AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.

  • Apprentice. The majority of Somerville 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 Somerville 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

Somerville AL plumber repairing water lineThere are several educational options available near Somerville 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 Technical Schools

When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Somerville AL region, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that must be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber technical school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing technical schools 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 instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Somerville AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational 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 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 Somerville 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent 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 more extensive directory of alumni, which may 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Somerville AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Somerville AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Somerville AL plumbing contracting company if they can give you some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Somerville AL residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It’s desirable that you get as much individualized training 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 experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Somerville AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify 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 Somerville AL, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Becoming A Plumbing Apprentice Somerville Alabama

Somerville AL plumber installing pipe fittingPicking the best plumber training program 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 Becoming A Plumbing Apprentice and wanting more information on the topic Plumbers School. But as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any plumbing training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in Somerville AL.

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    Somerville, Alabama

    Somerville is a town in Morgan County, Alabama, United States. It is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 724, up from 347.

    Somerville was the county seat of Morgan County from 1818 to 1891, when the seat was moved to Decatur. The town was named for Robert M. Summerville, an officer killed in 1814 during the Creek Indian War. Initially incorporated on December 3, 1819,[2][1] it is a few days older than the state. After its loss of the county seat in the 1890s, its incorporation lapsed. It was reorganized (reincorporated) on December 1, 1955.[5]

    As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 347 people, 148 households, and 97 families residing in the town. The population density was 339.9 people per square mile (131.4/km²). There were 160 housing units at an average density of 156.7 per square mile (60.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.35% White, 5.76% Black or African American, 1.73% Native American, 0.29% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. 0.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

     

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