For those looking to enter the plumbing trade, it would seem that the obvious first step is gaining the knowledge and accreditations needed to be hired as a plumber. There are many options to choose from, such as traditional brick-and-mortar schools, on-the-job training, and online programs. In this article, we will take a look at the pros and cons of each of these options to help prospective plumbers learn which route they should take.
Option 1: Brick and Mortar Trade Schools
Traditional trade schools with a physical building or campus are typically what most people would think of when speaking of technical education. These institutions are usually widely recognized and offer intensive training in the plumbing trade. However, brick and mortar schools are typically more expensive. High tuition rates, coupled with the added costs of travel, books, and time lost due to attending classes, can make traditional trade education a costly experience.
Another factor to consider is that traditional trade schools have rigid schedules for classes. Students must set aside allotted times to attend classes and take tests on location at the school. While some may like a strict structure in their education, others may find this aspect impractical.
Option 2: On-the-Job Training
Another way many plumbers learn the trade is through training they receive while working as an apprentice. As apprentices, plumbing students can obtain hands-on education working alongside more seasoned plumbers. In many states, students are required to work a set number of hours as an apprentice before they can apply to take the test for a plumbing license.
One of the most significant advantages of on-the-job training is in the training itself. Plumbing students gain real-world experience through hands-on training that simply cannot be gained in a classroom (or any other) setting. Another advantage is that students can earn an income while growing their plumbing knowledge. For many students, this allows them to take care of their families while still investing in a career.
While seasoned plumbers do contain a wealth of insider knowledge of the trade, keep in mind that they may have also picked up some incorrect or less-than-professional practices over the years. Students should also be wary of inheriting any outdated information from older technicians. Plumbing codes, practices, equipment, and fixtures have changed over the years, and it is important that students are trained in regards to the latest updates in the trade. Another drawback is that on-the-job training must be accumulated over years of employment, meaning it may take a long time for plumbing students to acquire the necessary skills to excel in the field.
Option 3: Online Training
The internet provides a wide array of information on virtually any topic. Naturally, there are a great deal of plumbing resources and training programs online. Simply watching YouTube videos is a questionable way to learn any trade. These videos can be made by virtually anyone, regardless of credentials, and can provide incorrect information.
There are other, more reputable online sources where plumbing students can receive professional instruction and training. Online training offers many advantages as well. For one, the online format gives students more flexibility than any other option. Students can watch and read lesson material and take quizzes and tests on their own time and wherever they can get a solid internet connection. Students with unreliable internet connections or devices should proceed with these online courses with caution. There are plenty of places with free wi-fi that could help students with weak connections, but these are factors students must consider before pursuing an online training program.
How Alpha Tradesmen Academy is Different
Alpha Tradesmen Academy’s Plumbing program brings trade students all the benefits of an online training program but is also designed to work alongside on-the-job training. This way, students can receive professional training on their own time while earning a steady income as a plumbing apprentice. Like traditional trade schools, Alpha Tradesmen Academy provides up-to-date plumbing training. The lessons are led by instructors with decades of experience in the plumbing trade.
At Alpha Tradesmen Academy, our goal is to rejuvenate technical education by providing an online trade school that provides students with professional training that works with their schedules. With Alpha Tradesmen Academy, aspiring plumbers can pursue their technical training in their free time while maintaining a steady income. Alpha Tradesmen Academy takes the high quality of training found in traditional trade schools with the flexibility of online courses, as well as the hands-on experience gained with on-the-job training, to bring students the best of all three options.