How to Choose the Best Welding Certificate Program near Goodyear Arizona
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Goodyear 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 significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when examining welder technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it's prudent to establish 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 Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Goodyear AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced 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 certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Goodyear 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 variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few 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 types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds 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 location and verify that the welder vocational school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Trade Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Goodyear AZ area. That's why it's essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It's essential that the welding vocational school you pick 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 select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Goodyear AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Goodyear AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It's essential that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who were in 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 high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Goodyear AZ contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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 Goodyear AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Goodyear AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might 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 provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school's local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to be lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Find the Right Goodyear Welding School for Certification
Choosing the right welder training program 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 things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any welder school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Goodyear AZ.