How to Enroll In the Best Welding Certificate Program near Anthem Arizona
Locating the ideal welding technical 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 know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welding trade 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 trade school to become a welder, it's prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let's cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Anthem AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Anthem AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Trade Programs
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Anthem AZ area. That's why it's essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Anthem AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Anthem AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It's crucial that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Anthem AZ contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Anthem AZ welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Anthem AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It's easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anthem AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Best Anthem Welding School for Certification
Picking the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Anthem AZ.