How to Select a Welding Degree Program near New River Arizona
Selecting the right welding trade school near New River AZ is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welder technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the New River AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. 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 specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of New River AZ employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Trade Program
Once you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the New River AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in New River AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 New River AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in 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 caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of New River AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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 New River AZ welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you select must be within driving distance of your New River AZ home. If you do opt to attend 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 welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed 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 go to classes at night or on weekends near New River AZ, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near New River AZ?
Perhaps you live in the New River 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.
New River, Arizona
New River is named after the seasonal wash of the same name, part of the Agua Fria River system which drains into the Salt River. It was founded by Lord Darrell Duppa in 1868 as a stagecoach stop. For many years it was the terminus of the old Black Canyon Highway (now Interstate 17). The pavement ended in New River and continued as a dirt road to the city of Prescott.
New River is located at 33°52′9″N 112°5′9″W / 33.86917°N 112.08583°W / 33.86917; -112.08583 (33.869149, −112.085759). It is bordered by the Tonto National Forest to the north, Cave Creek to the east, Phoenix to the south, and Anthem to the west. The CDP includes the area known as Desert Hills.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 70.8 square miles (183 km2), of which, 70.8 square miles (183 km2) of it is land and 0.01% is water. It includes both Daisy Mountain and Gavilan Peak.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater New River AZ area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical 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 done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Best Welding Trade School New River AZ
Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in New River AZ.
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