Topics to Ask Plumber Vocational Schools
Now that you have made a decision to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to focus your training options. Because there are so many plumbing tech and trade schools in the Sun City AZ region, it's important to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The first 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. And even though both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are additional variables that need to 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 trade school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Make sure that the Sun City AZ program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, some states mandate that the plumbing training program be accredited in order to be approved for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with 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 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 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 Sun City 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and complete the program. A lower completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may mean more contacts for the school to use 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 grads acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Sun City AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Most plumber training programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with local Sun City AZ plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also supplies employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain 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 currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Sun City AZ plumbing contracting company if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Sun City AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how large they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Sun City AZ and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sun City AZ, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family issues.