Questions to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Pelham AL region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Pelham AL program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing 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 is responsible for 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 Pelham 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could indicate that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also indicate that the instructors were not qualified 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 broader list of alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Pelham AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Pelham AL plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Pelham AL plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Pelham AL residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you get as much personalized instruction 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 big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Pelham AL and what certifications or degrees 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 in the evening or on weekends near Pelham AL, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make 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 responsibilities.