Questions to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools
Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Scottsdale AZ region, it's imperative to have a checklist of criteria that each program must meet. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber vocational school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for instance electrical technology. Make certain that the Scottsdale AZ school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a superior education, it may assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, many states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by checking that it’s properly licensed. Licensing is usually 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 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 Scottsdale 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 program. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It could also indicate that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment in the Scottsdale AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Many plumber vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of plumbing companies or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working relationships with local Scottsdale AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the school facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art 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 with concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Scottsdale AZ plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Scottsdale AZ home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Scottsdale AZ and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, confirm that the programs you are comparing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.