Questions to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Dothan AL region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Dothan AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically 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 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 Dothan 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher 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 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads secure apprenticeships or employment in the Dothan AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber training programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Dothan AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Dothan AL plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Dothan AL home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Dothan AL and what certifications or degrees 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 are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Dothan AL, verify that the schools you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.