How to Find the Best Welder Certification Program near Anthem Arizona
Locating the ideal welder vocational school near Anthem AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it's wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Anthem AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Anthem AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Trade Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Anthem AZ area. That's why it's necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Anthem AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Anthem AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It's important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher 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 Anthem AZ employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Anthem AZ welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Anthem AZ home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school's local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anthem AZ, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Choose the Best Anthem Welding School for Certification
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It's a must that any welder training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Anthem AZ.