Questions to Ask Plumbing Trade Schools
Now that you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Considering that there are numerous plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Peoria AZ area, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we talked about were location and the cost of tuition. And even though both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other variables that must be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to research before enrolling in a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Many plumbing vocational schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Confirm that the Peoria AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the plumbing training course be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is typically regulated and controlled 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 Peoria 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 percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might indicate that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also signify that the instructors were not competent 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 graduates, which may mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Peoria AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber trade programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Peoria AZ plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides job 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 working with on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Peoria AZ plumbing contracting company if they can give you some suggestions.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Peoria AZ residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Peoria AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Peoria AZ, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.