Things to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Prichard AL region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be critical when making your selection, there are other variables that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Prichard AL school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering 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 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 Prichard 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and dropped out. It might also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Prichard AL area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have referring partnerships with local Prichard AL plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. 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 Prichard AL plumbing contracting company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Prichard AL residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Prichard AL and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify 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 Prichard AL, check that the programs you are comparing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.