How to Enroll In the Best Welder Degree Program near Camp Verde Arizona
Selecting the ideal welding trade school near Camp Verde AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Camp Verde AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don't forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Camp Verde AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills 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
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Programs
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Camp Verde AZ area. That's why it's important to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard 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, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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 make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Camp Verde AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Camp Verde AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It's essential that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Camp Verde AZ employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar 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 tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Camp Verde AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might 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, most likely their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current 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 in the evenings or on weekends near Camp Verde AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Best Camp Verde Welding School for Certification
Choosing the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any welder training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Camp Verde AZ.