Things to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
When you have decided to earn a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Florence AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each school must satisfy. The first 2 that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be critical when making your decision, there are other factors that need to be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze before enrolling in a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Verify that the Florence 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. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, some states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually controlled and regulated by state agencies, such as the Arizona Department of Education. If you’re not sure, 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 Florence 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 of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate may indicate that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Florence AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber trade programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Florence AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date 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 under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Florence AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Florence AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Florence AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Florence AZ, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.