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Questions to Ask Plumbing Technical Schools

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Once you have made a decision to obtain a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to refine your school options. Considering that there are so many plumbing trade and vocational schools in the Cabot AR region, it's important to have a checklist of criteria that each school must meet. The initial two that we discussed were location and the cost of tuition. And while both qualifiers may be important when making your selection, there are other variables that must be taken into account also. Below is a checklist of those additional qualifiers that you will need to assess before enrolling in a plumber tech school.

Is the Plumbing School Accredited?  Many plumbing technical schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example electrical technology. Verify that the Cabot AR school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you acquire an excellent education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, a number of states require 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, an additional way of confirming that a vocational school you’re reiewing is reputable is by making sure that it’s properly licensed.  Licensing is typically regulated and controlled by state agencies, such as the Arkansas Department of Education.  If you don’t know, 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 Cabot 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 training programs you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate may indicate that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also signify that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's also imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or jobs in the Cabot AR area.

Are Apprenticeship Programs Sponsored?  Many plumber vocational programs are taught along 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. Find out if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Cabot AR plumbers or plumbing specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional 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 working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the master plumber you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Cabot AR plumbing contractor if they can give you some pointers.

Where is the School Located?  Unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your Cabot AR residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Are there Smaller Classes?  It's desirable that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger 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 instructors and students. Speak with some of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Cabot AR and what degrees or certifications they hold.

Is the Class Schedule Convenient?  Make sure 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 in the evening or on weekends near Cabot AR, confirm that the programs you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

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