How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near Gold Canyon Arizona
Selecting the ideal welder vocational school near Gold Canyon AZ is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it's wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let's cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 available in the Gold Canyon AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working 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 extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don't forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Gold Canyon AZ employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding technical school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Gold Canyon AZ area. That's why it's necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many 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 school you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify 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 agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Gold Canyon AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Gold Canyon AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It's essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy 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 program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Gold Canyon AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Gold Canyon AZ welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Gold Canyon AZ home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school's local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gold Canyon AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Find the Best Gold Canyon Welding Program for Certification
Picking the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It's a must that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Gold Canyon AZ.