How to Choose the Right Welding Vocational School near Camp Verde Arizona
Locating the ideal welder school near Camp Verde AZ is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it's prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into 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 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Camp Verde AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working 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 certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Camp Verde AZ employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few 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 various kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder tech school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Technical Programs
When you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Camp Verde AZ area. That's why it's necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school 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 may want to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It's essential that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Camp Verde AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Camp Verde AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It's crucial that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Camp Verde AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Camp Verde AZ welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Camp Verde AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's possible to be lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Camp Verde AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Choose the Right Camp Verde Welding Training for Certification
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It's a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Camp Verde AZ.