What to Ask Plumbing Tech Schools
Now that you have decided to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to refine your training options. Since there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Benton AR region, it's imperative to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must satisfy. The initial two that we talked about were location and tuition expense. And although both qualifiers may be important when making your determination, there are other factors that need to be taken into account also. Following is a checklist of those added qualifications that you will need to assess prior to selecting a plumber technical school.
Is the Plumbing School Accredited? Numerous plumbing trade schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Benton AR school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the plumbing training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing or certification.
Is the Plumbing School Licensed? In addition to accreditation, another way of confirming that a trade 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 Arkansas Department of Education. If you’re not sure, 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 Benton AR 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 looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also signify that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Benton AR area.
Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored? A large number of plumber vocational programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of plumbing contractors or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Benton AR plumbers or plumbing companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying hands-on training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area plumbing professional community.
Are there Modern Facilities? Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art 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. If not, ask a local Benton AR plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.
Where is the School Located? Unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Benton AR residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Are there Smaller Classes? It's important that you get as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Speak to some of the students and get their comments relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Benton AR 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 meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Benton AR, confirm 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. Additionally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.