Questions to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
When you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your training options. Since there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each program must meet. The first 2 that we mentioned were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess prior to choosing a plumber trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Lake Havasu City 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 guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to be approved 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 Lake Havasu City 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 finish the course. A lower completion rate could indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also suggest that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can produce 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 assist students secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber vocational programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make sure that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Lake Havasu City AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Lake Havasu City AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you receive as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Lake Havasu City AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.