How to Select the Right Welding Training Classes near Holbrook Arizona
Finding the ideal welding trade school near Holbrook AZ is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Holbrook AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Holbrook AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some 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 various types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding technical school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Tech Programs
After you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Holbrook AZ area. That's why it's necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select 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 need to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Holbrook AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Holbrook AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It's important that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who joined 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Holbrook AZ employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Holbrook AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Holbrook AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Holbrook AZ, verify that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. 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, sickness or family emergencies.
Find the Best Holbrook Welding School for Certification
Selecting the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It's a necessity that any welder training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Holbrook AZ.