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After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Catalina Foothills AZ area. That's why it's necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. 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 more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welder trade school.

Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Catalina Foothills AZ for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established 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 Catalina Foothills AZ welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It's essential that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, 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 verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Catalina Foothills AZ employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out 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 comparable to what you will be working with 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. Otherwise, ask a local Catalina Foothills AZ welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Catalina Foothills AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides 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 ultimately will desire to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual 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 observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

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