How to Enroll In the Right Welder Certificate Program near Holbrook Arizona
Selecting the ideal welding technical school near Holbrook AZ is an essential first step to launching your new occupation 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining welder trade 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 vocational school to become a welder, it's sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let's cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are multiple options 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 offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Holbrook AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Holbrook AZ employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many 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 location and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Technical Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Holbrook AZ area. That's why it's essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two important ones that many 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 should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Holbrook AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Holbrook AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It's important that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Holbrook AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Holbrook AZ welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Holbrook AZ home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's possible to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a couple 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 trade while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Holbrook AZ, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Choose the Best Holbrook Welding Program for Certification
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It's a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach 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. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Holbrook AZ.