Questions to Ask Plumber Training Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing tech and trade schools in the Juneau AK area, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your determination, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Juneau AK school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Alaska 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 Juneau 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 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 could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to train 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 alumni, which may produce more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Juneau AK area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Juneau AK plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm 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 already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Juneau AK plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Juneau AK residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple 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 comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Juneau AK and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Juneau AK, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.