Points to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to focus your school options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Mesa AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to assess before choosing a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Mesa AZ program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of 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 confirming that a trade school you’re considering is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically controlled and regulated 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 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 Mesa 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 portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Mesa AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber training programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with local Mesa AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Mesa AZ plumbing company if they can provide some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Mesa AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may 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 bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Mesa AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, check that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make 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, illness or family issues.