How to Enroll In the Best Welder Certification Course near Anthem Arizona
Choosing the right welder technical school near Anthem AZ is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it's prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let's cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple options available to receive 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Anthem AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. 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 additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Anthem AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Trade Programs
When you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Anthem AZ area. That's why it's essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It's essential that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Anthem AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 referrals. 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 percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It's crucial that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Anthem AZ contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Anthem AZ welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you choose must be within driving distance of your Anthem AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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 subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Anthem AZ, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Choose the Right Anthem Welding Training for Certification
Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal 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.