How to Find the Right Welding Training Program near Apache Junction Arizona
Finding the ideal welding school near Apache Junction AZ is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many 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 select the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Apache Junction AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate 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 make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Apache Junction AZ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Technical Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Apache Junction AZ area. That's why it's essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most 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 must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Apache Junction AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Apache Junction AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It's crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Apache Junction AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Apache Junction AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Apache Junction AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Find the Right Apache Junction Welding Training for Certification
Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It's a must that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some 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 proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Apache Junction AZ.