Things to Ask Plumber Trade Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Mountain Brook AL area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other factors that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research prior to choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Mountain Brook AL school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example 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 in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure 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 Mountain Brook 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 looking at 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 suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Mountain Brook AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught along 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 businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Mountain Brook AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools 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 with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Mountain Brook AL plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Mountain Brook AL residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable 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 see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Mountain Brook AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Mountain Brook AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.