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Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Flagstaff AZ area. That's why it's necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It's essential that the welding vocational school you pick 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 specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Flagstaff AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations 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 help students find employment and develop relationships within the Flagstaff AZ welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It's crucial that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Flagstaff AZ employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Flagstaff AZ welding contractor if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Flagstaff AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.

Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's easy to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a few of the trainers and find out 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 employed at their present job. Make sure 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 Flagstaff AZ, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick 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 emergencies.

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