Questions to Ask Plumbing Vocational Schools
When you have decided to earn a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are so many plumbing vocational and trade schools in the Tucson AZ region, it's essential to have a checklist of criteria that each program must satisfy. The initial two that we mentioned were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your decision, there are additional factors that need to be taken into account as well. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifications that you will need to analyze prior to selecting a plumber tech school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? A large number of plumbing technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as electrical technology. Make sure that the Tucson AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Also, many states require that the plumbing training program be accredited for it to qualify for certification or licensing.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? Along with accreditation, another way of determining if a vocational school you’re considering is reputable is by making sure 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 Tucson 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 of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It might also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may result in more contacts for the school to employ 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 trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help graduates obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Tucson AZ area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? Numerous plumber trade 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 within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Tucson AZ plumbers or plumbing professionals. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the master plumber you are working with concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Tucson AZ plumbing contractor if they can provide some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Tucson AZ residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's desirable that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Talk to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Tucson AZ and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Is the Class Schedule Convenient? Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Tucson AZ, verify that the programs you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.