How to Choose the Right Welder Certification Program near Eloy Arizona
Finding the right welder technical school near Eloy AZ is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when evaluating welding trade 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 vocational school to become a welder, it's prudent 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 Programs
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Eloy AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Eloy AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder technical school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Eloy AZ area. That's why it's important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It's essential that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Eloy AZ for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Eloy AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It's crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy 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 higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Eloy AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate 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 comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Eloy AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Eloy AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify 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 Eloy AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Best Eloy Welding School for Certification
Choosing the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Eloy AZ.