Topics to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Prattville AL region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before enrolling in a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Prattville AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure 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 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 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 training programs you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Prattville AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught along 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 businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Prattville AL plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable 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? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already 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 Prattville AL plumbing contracting company if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Prattville AL residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in 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 instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Prattville AL and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Prattville AL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.