Points to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
Once you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Montgomery AL region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade schools have acquired 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 example electrical technology. Make certain that the Montgomery AL program and school 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 ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if 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 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 Montgomery 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate could signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also signify that the instructors were not competent to train the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Montgomery AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Montgomery AL plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical 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 campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using 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 looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Montgomery AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Montgomery AL home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Montgomery 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 meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Montgomery AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.