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When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Nogales AZ area, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The first two that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your decision, there are other variables that must be considered also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to analyze before choosing a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Numerous plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Nogales AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing or certification.

Is the Plumbing School Licensed?  Along with accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a trade school you’re reiewing 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’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 Nogales 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 reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate may suggest that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Nogales AZ area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or trade unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with local Nogales AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form 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, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Nogales AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some tips.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your Nogales AZ home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there can be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's important that you get as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their comments concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Nogales AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Nogales AZ, check that the programs you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

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