How to Choose a Welder Certification Class near Nogales Arizona
Selecting the ideal welding school near Nogales AZ is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns 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 starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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 Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options available to obtain 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 offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Nogales AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. 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 offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Nogales AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding tech school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical School
When you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Nogales AZ area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school 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 may want to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Nogales AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Nogales AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Nogales AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Nogales AZ welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
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 can move, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Nogales AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Nogales AZ, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Nogales AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Nogales 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.
Nogales is a city in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. The population was 20,837 at the 2010 census and estimated 20,407 in 2014. Nogales forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,027,683 as of the 2010 Census. The city is the county seat of Santa Cruz County.
Nogales, Arizona, borders the city of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and is Arizona's largest international border community. The southern terminus of Interstate 19 is located in Nogales at the U.S.-Mexico border; the highway continues south into Mexico as Mexico Federal Highway 15. The highways meeting in Nogales are a major road intersection in the CANAMEX Corridor, connecting Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Nogales also is the beginning of the Arizona Sun Corridor, an economically important trade region stretching from Nogales to Prescott, including the Tucson and Phoenix metropolitan areas.
Nogales is home to four international ports of entry, including the Morley Pedestrian Port of Entry, Dennis Deconcini Pedestrian and Passenger Vehicle Port of Entry, Nogales International Airport, and the Mariposa Port of Entry. The Nogales-Mariposa Port of Entry has twelve passenger vehicle inspection lanes and eight commercial inspection lanes.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Nogales AZ area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Right Welding Technical School Nogales AZ
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Nogales AZ.