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Points to Ask Plumber Tech Schools

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Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Decatur AL region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other factors that need to 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?  Many plumbing technical programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Decatur AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of 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 considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Alabama Department of Education.  If you don’t know, ask the school which state agency is responsible for 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 Decatur 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It may also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Decatur AL area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber trade programs are taught together 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 contractors or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with local Decatur AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form 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 on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Decatur AL plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Decatur AL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you receive as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Decatur AL and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Decatur AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

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