How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Luke Afb Arizona
Finding the right welding vocational school near Luke Afb AZ is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous 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 pick the right one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create 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 a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma 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 made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Luke Afb AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop 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 finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Luke Afb AZ employers not only expect 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 offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different kinds 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 verify that the welding vocational school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Vocational School
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Luke Afb AZ area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, 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 can also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Luke Afb AZ for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Luke Afb AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Luke Afb AZ contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure 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 Luke Afb AZ welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Luke Afb AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Luke Afb AZ, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Luke Afb AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Luke Afb Arizona area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Luke Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base (IATA: LUF, ICAO: KLUF, FAA LID: LUF) is a United States Air Force base located 7 miles (6.1 nmi; 11 km) west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is about 15 miles (13 nmi; 24 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona.
Luke AFB is a major training base of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), training pilots in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. On 31 March 2011 it was announced that the F-35 Lightning II would replace the F-16 as the primary training aircraft at Luke, although the date of deployment of the new aircraft to Luke and reorganization plans were not announced. On 16 July 2013, the Air Force announced that Luke AFB will house a total of 144 F-35A Lightning IIs.
Luke Air Force Base is an active-duty F-16 Fighting Falcon training base with 170 F-16s assigned. The host command at Luke is the 56th Fighter Wing (56 FW), under Air Education and Training Command's 19th Air Force.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Luke Afb AZ area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Right Welding Tech School Luke Afb AZ
Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Luke Afb AZ.
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