How to Pick the Best Plumbing School near Blountsville Alabama
The first step to becoming a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing school near Blountsville AL. But with so many technical schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Particularly because there are so many points to examine. For example, many potential students will begin by looking for schools that are close to their residence. After they have located some that are within commuting range, they will decide on the one with the least expensive tuition. Even though location and cost are significant, they are not the sole things that should be considered. Also critical are the reputations of the schools, their accreditation, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifications should contribute toward your final judgment when choosing a plumber training school. We will address that checklist in more 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 Blountsville AL plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of Blountsville 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 Blountsville 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 Blountsville 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.
Questions to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Blountsville AL area, it’s essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other variables that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Blountsville AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking 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 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 Blountsville 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Blountsville AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Blountsville AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies 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 equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Blountsville AL plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Blountsville AL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It’s desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few 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 feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Blountsville AL and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Blountsville AL, confirm that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Plumbing Training School Blountsville Alabama
Picking the best plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Plumbing Training School and wanting more information on the topic Becoming A Master Plumber. But as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the training programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any plumber training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal equipment to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, you can become a professional plumber in Blountsville AL.
More Plumbing School Locations in Alabama
Blount County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature on February 6, 1818, from land ceded to the federal government by the Creek Nation on August 9, 1814. It was named for Gov. Willie G. Blount of Tennessee, who provided assistance to settlers in Alabama during the Creek War of 1813-14. It lies in the northeastern section of the state, generally known as the mineral region.
What became Blountsville appears on an 1819 map as the mixed Creek/Cherokee Native American village of "Wassausey" (meaning Bear Meat Cabin, the name of an Indian translator who lived there). The town was established by Caleb Fryley and Johnny Jones in 1816 as Bear Meat Cabin. The post office was opened as Blountsville on October 20, 1825, and incorporated on December 13, 1827. It was the county seat until 1889 when the government was moved to Oneonta.
There were many schools in the town in the early years: The Academy, Blount College and the District Agricultural School, plus the public schools. The Blount County Courthouse and jail was built in 1833 and remained there until it was moved to Oneonta. A major crossroads in early Alabama, Blountsville became a Confederate depot for the cavalry. Confederate forces led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union forces led by General Abel Streight skirmished briefly in the town on May 1, 1863, and Major General Lovell H. Rousseau and his Union cavalry occupied the town in July 1864. Blount College was in the building that was originally the courthouse. It was established in 1890. The beautiful Blountsville United Methodist Church was established in 1818 and is the oldest building in Blountsville and is still in use today. Another old building in Blountsville was once known as the Barclift House. Built in 1834 as Hendricks Tavern, it is now owned and is being restored by the Ortiz family.
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