How to Find the Best Welding Trade School near Holbrook Arizona
Locating the right welder vocational school near Holbrook AZ is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when reviewing welding trade 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 trade school to become a welder, it's prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Holbrook 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 nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide 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 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 furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Holbrook AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Trade Schools
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Holbrook AZ area. That's why it's essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. 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 some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable 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. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Holbrook AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It's essential that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied 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 higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Holbrook AZ employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 few additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Holbrook AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true 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 local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
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 convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend 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, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Find the Best Holbrook Welding Training for Certification
Choosing the right welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different 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 teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Holbrook AZ.