How to Find the Right Welding Degree Program near Solomon Arizona
Selecting the right welder trade school near Solomon 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 notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Solomon AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares 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 potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Solomon AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Technical School
When you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Solomon AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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). Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Solomon 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 as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask 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 other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Solomon AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, 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 verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Solomon AZ contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with 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. Otherwise, ask a local Solomon AZ welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Solomon AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may 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 an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely 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 subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Solomon AZ, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Solomon AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Solomon 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.
As of the 2010 census Solomon had a population of 426. The ethnic and racial composition of the population was 75.8% Hispanic, 20.9% non-Hispanic white, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Asian Indian, 0.7% other Asian and 2.8% reporting two or more races.
In the early 19th century settlers who fit the modern term Hispanic came to the region. They named the town they founded "Pueblo Viejo" because of the previous Native American settlement, the ruins of which were still visible.
In the 1870s Mormons moved to the region. The Solomon Ward web site says no Mormons moved to Solomon until 1884 They began large scale irrigation. The current name of the town, which was previously known as Solomonville, is for Isadore Elkan Solomon, a German immigrant who came to the town in the 1870s. Solomon was Jewish. He moved to Solomon with his wife and three children, the oldest of whom was three. His wife already had family members in New Mexico. Their first stop in the southwest was in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Mrs. Solomon and the children lived there for four months while I. E. Solomon was searching for a place to start up business, and he eventually settled on the current town of Solomon. When the Solomons came to town there were only five residences in the town. The idea for the name Solomonville was suggested by the local postman, William H. Kirkland.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Solomon AZ area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily 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 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 accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Ideal Welding Technical Program Solomon AZ
Selecting the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Solomon AZ.