What to Ask Plumber Training Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Because there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Alabaster AL region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze before enrolling in a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing vocational programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Alabaster AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade 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 don’t know, ask the school which state agency regulates its licensing and then check to ensure 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 Alabaster 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also mean that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also 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 mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Alabaster AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Alabaster AL plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Alabaster AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Alabaster AL home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Alabaster AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Alabaster AL, check that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.