How to Pick the Right Welding Training Program near Doney Park Arizona
Enrolling in the right welding technical school near Doney Park AZ is an important first step to launching your new occupation 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it's prudent to establish 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 Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Doney Park AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Doney Park AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding trade school you select preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Technical Programs
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Doney Park AZ area. That's why it's important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many 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 considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. 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, such as Welding Technology. So make sure 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 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 may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Doney Park AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Doney Park AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It's crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Doney Park AZ employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Doney Park AZ welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Doney Park AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk 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 certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Doney Park AZ, make certain that the schools you are considering provide 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 policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Choose the Right Doney Park Welding Program for Certification
Selecting the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select 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 Doney Park AZ.