How to Pick the Best Welding Certification Classes near Eloy Arizona
Finding the right welding technical school near Eloy AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when examining welder vocational 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 vocational school to become a welder, it's sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Eloy AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Eloy AZ employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. 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
- Perform according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many 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 location and make certain that the welding trade school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Eloy AZ area. That's why it's essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It's essential that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm 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, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Eloy AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Eloy AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It's important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Eloy AZ contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Eloy AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Eloy AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school's local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It's easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks 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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Eloy AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Choose the Best Eloy Welding Course for Certification
Selecting the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any welder school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Eloy AZ.