How to Pick the Best Welder Vocational School near Globe Arizona
Locating the right welder trade school near Globe AZ is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to receive 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Globe AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Globe AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Technical Schools
When you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Globe AZ area. That's why it's essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It's essential that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Globe AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships 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 associations within the Globe AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It's essential that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Globe AZ employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider 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. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Globe AZ welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you select must be within driving distance of your Globe AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides 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 ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It's possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Globe AZ, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on 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.
Find the Best Globe Welding School for Certification
Picking the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It's a must that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Globe AZ.