Things to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your school options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Glendale AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other factors that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to research before selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example electrical technology. Confirm that the Glendale AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a trade school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 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 Glendale 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also indicate 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 broader directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Glendale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Glendale AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed 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 concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Glendale AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Glendale AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to a few of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Glendale AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, verify that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.