How to Select a Welder Certificate Program near Thatcher Arizona
Finding the ideal welder technical school near Thatcher AZ is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 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 Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Thatcher AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Thatcher AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just 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 certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding technical school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Trade Program
Once you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Thatcher AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two important ones that most people consider 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 decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types 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, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 a superior education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Thatcher AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Thatcher AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Thatcher AZ contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar 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. If not, ask a local Thatcher AZ welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Thatcher AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession 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 Thatcher AZ, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Thatcher AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Thatcher 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 census of 2000, there were 4,022 people, 1,281 households, and 927 families residing in the town. The population density was 919.4 people per square mile (355.4/km²). There were 1,427 housing units at an average density of 326.2 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 84.73% White, 0.77% Black or African American, 1.84% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 9.87% from other races, and 2.19% from two or more races. 19.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,281 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.37.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 22.8% from 18 to 24, 18.9% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Thatcher AZ area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Tech Program Thatcher AZ
Selecting the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Thatcher AZ.