How to Enroll In a Welding Training Class near Parker Arizona
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Parker AZ is an important first step to starting your new career 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 choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Parker AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide 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 provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Parker AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. 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 kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities 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 way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welding Trade School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Parker AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Parker AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding 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 after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Parker AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Parker AZ employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Parker AZ welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Parker AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers 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 a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Parker AZ, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Parker AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Parker 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.
Parker (Mojave 'Amat Kuhwely, formerly 'Ahwe Nyava) is the county seat of La Paz County, Arizona, United States, on the Colorado River in Parker Valley. The population was 3,083 at the 2010 census.
Founded in 1908, the town was named after Ely Parker, the first Native American commissioner for the U.S. government. The original town site of Parker was surveyed and laid out in 1909 by Earl H. Parker, a railroad location engineer for the Arizona & California Railway. The town officially incorporated in 1948 and became the county seat for the newly created La Paz County on January 1, 1983.
The town's name and origin began when a post office called Parker was established January 6, 1871, at Parker's Landing and the site of the Parker Indian Agency, named for Ely Parker, on the Colorado River Indian Reservation, 4 miles downriver from the site of the railroad bridge of the modern town, to serve the Indian agency.:118 What became Parkers Landing was established on the river as the place to land and pick up cargo and personnel for the Indian Agency and the U. S. Army detachment that was stationed there at Camp Colorado from 1864 to 1869 during the first years of the Reservation. Camp Colorado was abandoned after wind-blown sparks from the departing steamboat Cocopah rapidly burned down the brush huts of the officers of the garrison, and endangered its barracks and storehouses. :66, n.61
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Parker AZ area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have 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 obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Vocational Program Parker AZ
Selecting the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Parker AZ.