How to Find the Right Welding Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Selecting the right welder trade school near Prescott Valley AZ is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose 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 checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Prescott Valley AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies 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 future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Prescott Valley AZ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder vocational school you select readies you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Technical School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Prescott Valley AZ area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, 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 may also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Prescott Valley AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement 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 relationships within the Prescott Valley AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Prescott Valley AZ employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Prescott Valley AZ welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Prescott Valley AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree 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 needs to 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 overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Prescott Valley AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Prescott Valley 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.
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Prescott Valley is a town located in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States, about 8 miles east of Prescott, which it has surpassed in growth. Prescott Valley was the seventh fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona between 1990 and 2000, with a current population (October 2016) of about 45,500 residents.
The Walker Party discovered gold along Lynx Creek in 1863. The Lynx Creek placers went on to produce a recorded 29,000 troy ounces (900 kg) of gold. Estimates of actual production range up to 80,000 troy ounces (2,500 kg), which would be worth about $108 million at 2017 prices.
Prescott Valley, formerly known as Lonesome Valley, was settled by ranchers in the 1880s, raising beef to supply the miners and new settlers. The Fain family, pioneer ranchers, still ranch in the valley.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Prescott Valley AZ area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally 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 better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Technical Program Prescott Valley AZ
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Prescott Valley AZ.
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