How to Pick the Best Welding Certification Course near Marana Arizona
Choosing the ideal welding school near Marana AZ is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 Training Programs
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Marana AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don't forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Marana AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Marana AZ area. That's why it's important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Marana 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 also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing 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 placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Marana AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It's important that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Marana AZ contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with 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 Marana AZ welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Marana AZ home. If you do decide 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 welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school's local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain 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 just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Marana Welding Course for Certification
Picking the ideal welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between 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 every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Marana AZ.