Questions to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Huntsville AL area, it's important to have a checklist of criteria 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 crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Huntsville AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually regulated and controlled 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 Huntsville 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Huntsville AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Huntsville AL plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Huntsville AL plumbing company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Huntsville AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Huntsville AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Huntsville AL, check that the programs you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.