How to Pick the Right Welder Certificate Program near Glendale Arizona
Locating the ideal welding trade school near Glendale AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation 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 notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it's sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Glendale AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing 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 required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Glendale AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. A few 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 specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Trade Schools
When you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Glendale AZ area. That's why it's important to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Glendale AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask 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 place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Glendale AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It's crucial that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Glendale AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, 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. If not, ask a local Glendale AZ welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Glendale AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It's easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings 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 sure 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 responsibilities.
Choose the Right Glendale Welding School for Certification
Selecting the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It's a prerequisite that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Glendale AZ.