How to Select the Best Welder Certification Course near Casa Grande Arizona
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Casa Grande AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when evaluating welder trade 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 trade school to become a welder, it's wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several options to get 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Casa Grande AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Casa Grande 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 variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many 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 just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Tech Programs
When you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Casa Grande AZ area. That's why it's necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Casa Grande AZ for non-accredited schools. 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. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations 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 relationships within the Casa Grande AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It's crucial that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Casa Grande AZ contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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 Casa Grande AZ welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you select must be within driving distance of your Casa Grande AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma 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 local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It's easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to 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 profession while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Find the Best Casa Grande Welding Training for Certification
Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Casa Grande AZ.