How to Find the Right Welder Trade School near Glendale Arizona
Selecting the right welder technical school near Glendale AZ is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When 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 necessary concerns when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it's prudent to create 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Glendale AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two 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 furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don't forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Glendale AZ employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for various 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, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder technical school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Glendale AZ area. That's why it's essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types 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 make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Glendale AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other 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 assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Glendale AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It's essential that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Glendale AZ employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Glendale AZ welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Glendale AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Find the Right Glendale Welding Course for Certification
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any welder training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Glendale AZ.