How to Find the Best Welding Training Classes near Holbrook Arizona
Selecting the ideal welding vocational school near Holbrook AZ is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it's sensible 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 Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Holbrook AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Holbrook AZ employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few 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 types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder tech school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welder Tech Programs
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Holbrook AZ area. That's why it's necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types 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, such as Welding Technology. So confirm 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, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Holbrook AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are provided 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 considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Holbrook AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It's crucial that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Holbrook AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, 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. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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 contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Holbrook AZ home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Holbrook AZ, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Find the Best Holbrook Welding School for Certification
Selecting the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It's a necessity that any welding school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Holbrook AZ.