How to Select the Right Welder Training Classes near Globe Arizona
Finding the ideal welder trade school near Globe AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it's sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options available 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Globe AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed 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 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don't forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Globe AZ employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Globe AZ area. That's why it's necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It's essential that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Globe AZ for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help 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. 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 develop relationships within the Globe AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion 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 welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined 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 caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Globe AZ contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities 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 unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Globe AZ welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Globe AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It's possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Globe AZ, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Globe Welding Course for Certification
Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Globe AZ.