Things to Ask Plumber Tech Schools
When you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Since there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Prattville AL region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other factors that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Verify that the Prattville AL program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
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 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 Prattville 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified 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 may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Prattville AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Prattville AL plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Prattville AL plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Prattville AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Prattville AL and what certifications or degrees they hold.
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 can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prattville AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.