Things to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Dothan AL region, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other variables that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain 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 certain that the Dothan AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade 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 training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Dothan AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber training programs are taught along 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 businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring relationships with local Dothan AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Dothan AL plumbing company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Dothan AL home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Dothan AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Dothan AL, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.