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Questions to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools

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Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The initial two that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your determination, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  A large number of plumbing trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Chandler AZ 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 ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade 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’re not sure, 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 Chandler 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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help grads obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Chandler AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical 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 partnerships with local Chandler AZ plumbers or plumbing contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.

Are there Modern Facilities?  Confirm that the campus 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, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Chandler AZ plumbing company if they can provide some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Chandler AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much personalized training 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 observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to a few of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Chandler AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

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