How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Show Low Arizona
Choosing the ideal welder vocational school near Show Low AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new career 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 fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Show Low AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Show Low AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind 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 types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welding Tech School
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Show Low AZ area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types 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 instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Show Low AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance 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 larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Show Low AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Show Low AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Show Low AZ welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Show Low AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Show Low AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Show Low AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Show Low 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.
Show Low, Arizona
Show Low is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. It lies on the Mogollon Rim in east central Arizona, at an elevation of 6,345 feet (1,934 m). The city was established in 1870 and incorporated in 1953. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 10,660.
The two men were equal partners in a 100,000-acre (400 km2) ranch; however, the partners determined that there was not enough room for both of them in their settlement, and agreed to settle the issue over a game of "Seven Up" (with the winner taking the ranch and the loser leaving).
After the game seemed to have no winner in sight, Clark said, "If you can show low, you win." In response, Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, "Show low it is."
Online Welding Schools
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 courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Show Low AZ area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Best Welding Trade Program Show Low AZ
Selecting the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Show Low AZ.