Questions to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Green Valley AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that need to be taken into account as well. Following is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may earn 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 Green Valley AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering 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 don’t know, ask the school which state agency regulates 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 Green Valley 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It may also signify that the instructors were not qualified 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 produce more contacts for the school to employ 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Green Valley AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with local Green Valley AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Green Valley AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your Green Valley AZ home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak to a few of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Green Valley AZ and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.