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As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Gilbert AZ area. That's why it's essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder vocational school.

Accreditation. It's essential that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Gilbert AZ for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Gilbert AZ welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It's essential that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Gilbert AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure 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 using in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Gilbert AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Gilbert AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 wish to work.

Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools 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 receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify 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 due to work, illness or family circumstances.

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