How to Select the Best Welding Training Classes near Drexel Heights Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal welder vocational school near Drexel Heights AZ is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting 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 Certificate and Degree Training
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Drexel Heights AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don't forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Drexel Heights AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills 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
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate 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 make certain that the welding vocational school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Trade Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Drexel Heights AZ area. That's why it's necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. 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 some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It's very 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 attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick 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 ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Drexel Heights AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Drexel Heights AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It's crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Drexel Heights AZ contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Drexel Heights AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Drexel Heights AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could 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 offers 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 an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Choose the Right Drexel Heights Welding Course for Certification
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Drexel Heights AZ.