Questions to Ask Plumbing Training Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to refine your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Avondale AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that must be considered as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Confirm that the Avondale AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona 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 Avondale AZ 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct 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 directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Avondale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade 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 working relationships with local Avondale AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using 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. Otherwise, ask a local Avondale AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Avondale AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in 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 get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Avondale AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.