Topics to Ask Plumber Trade 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 Anchorage AK area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Make certain that the Anchorage AK school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with 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 regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Alaska Department of Education. If you’re not sure, 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 Anchorage AK 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 considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and quit. It could also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Anchorage AK area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber trade 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 inside their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Anchorage AK plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Anchorage AK plumbing contracting company if they can provide some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Anchorage AK home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important 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 experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Anchorage AK and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Anchorage AK, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.