How to Find the Right Plumber Course near West Memphis Arkansas
The first step to learning to be a plumbing tradesman or contractor is locating a plumbing school near West Memphis AR. But with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you go about making certain that you enroll in the ideal one? Especially since there are a number of points to examine. For instance, some students will start by searching for schools that are nearby their residence. Once they have located a few that are within driving range, they will pick the one with the most affordable tuition. While location and cost are important, they are not the only qualifications that must be examined. Also critical are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, along with their graduation and job placement rates. These and other qualifications should influence your final judgment when selecting a plumber training school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit about becoming a plumber and the training choices that are available.
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 West Memphis AR plumber will typically advance through three phases during their professional career.
- Apprentice. The majority of West Memphis AR 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 West Memphis AR 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 West Memphis AR 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
Once you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the West Memphis AR region, it’s important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the West Memphis AR program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training program 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 reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arkansas Department of Education. If you don’t know, 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 West Memphis AR 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which can produce 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 industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment in the West Memphis AR area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local West Memphis AR plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art 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 regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local West Memphis AR plumbing company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your West Memphis AR home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in 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 important that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in West Memphis AR and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near West Memphis AR, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits 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.
Plumbing Trade School West Memphis Arkansas
Picking the right plumber trade school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally came to this website because of your interest in Plumbing Trade School and wanting more information on the topic Plumber Vocational Schools. But as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the training programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any plumber tech school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own equipment to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour 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, hard work and commitment, you can become a professional plumber in West Memphis AR.
More Plumbing School Locations in Arkansas
West Memphis, Arkansas
West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census, ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.
Native Americans lived in the Mississippi River Valley for at least 10,000 years, although much of the evidence of their presence has been buried or destroyed. The Indians of the Mississippian Period were the last native inhabitants of the West Memphis area. Mound City Road, located within the eastern portion of the West Memphis city limits, has a marker indicating that the villages of Aquixo (Aquijo) or Pacaha were in the area. Several mounds are still visible.
Explorers from both Spain and France visited the area near West Memphis. Among those explorers were Hernando de Soto and his men from Spain and Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet from France. By the time French hunters and explorers entered the region, the Mississippian towns and other settlements had been abandoned. The original site of West Memphis came from Spanish land grants issued during the 1790s. Grants were given to Benjamin Fooy, John Henry Fooy, and Isaac Fooy in the Hopefield (Crittenden County) area and to William McKenney in the Bridgeport-West Memphis area.
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