What to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools
Once you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to narrow down your school options. Since there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Maricopa AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are other variables that must be considered as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess before selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as electrical technology. Make certain that the Maricopa AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational 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 don’t know, 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 Maricopa 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 percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also mean that the teachers 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 list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Maricopa AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Maricopa AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Maricopa AZ plumbing company if they can give you some tips.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Maricopa AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in 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 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 few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Maricopa AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family issues.