How to Choose the Right Welder Certification Program near Camp Verde Arizona
Finding the right welding school near Camp Verde AZ is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it's wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Camp Verde AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don't forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Camp Verde AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Technical Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Camp Verde AZ area. That's why it's important to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain 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 choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Camp Verde AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations 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 utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Camp Verde AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It's important that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm 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 apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with 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. Otherwise, ask a local Camp Verde AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Camp Verde AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate 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 regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Camp Verde AZ, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Choose the Right Camp Verde Welding School for Certification
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Camp Verde AZ.