How to Enroll In a Welder Technical School near Safford Arizona
Enrolling in the right welder technical school near Safford AZ is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Safford AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Safford 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 available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding technical school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Technical Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Safford AZ area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two important ones that most 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 looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds 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, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Safford AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Safford AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Safford AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Safford AZ welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Safford AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Safford AZ, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Safford AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Safford 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.
Safford (Western Apache: Ichʼįʼ Nahiłtį́į́) is a city in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 9,566. The city is the county seat of Graham County.
Safford is located at 32°49′24″N 109°42′53″W / 32.82333°N 109.71472°W / 32.82333; -109.71472 (32.823266, -109.714613). The Pinaleno Mountains sit prominently to the southwest of town. The Pinalenos have the greatest vertical relief of any mountain range in Arizona.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22 km2), of which, 8.6 square miles (22 km2) of it is land and 0.03 square miles (0.078 km2) of it (0.18%) is water.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Safford AZ area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Ideal Welding Trade School Safford AZ
Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Safford AZ.