How to Choose the Right Welding Certification Classes near Eloy Arizona
Locating the ideal welding vocational school near Eloy AZ is an important first step to starting your new occupation 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 options, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it's sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let's cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive 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 descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Eloy AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Eloy AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding vocational school you select readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Eloy AZ area. That's why it's essential to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Eloy AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Eloy AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It's important that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean 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 an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Eloy AZ employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm 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 in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Eloy AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Eloy AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual 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 schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Eloy AZ, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure 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 because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Find the Right Eloy Welding Course for Certification
Choosing the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a prerequisite that any welding school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Eloy AZ.