How to Pick a Welding Certificate Program near Wickenburg Arizona
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Wickenburg AZ is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Wickenburg AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely 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 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick 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 Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Wickenburg AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Wickenburg AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to establish 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 the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard kinds 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 verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Wickenburg AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Wickenburg AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Wickenburg AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Wickenburg AZ welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Wickenburg AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship 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 ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a few of the instructors 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 employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wickenburg AZ, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wickenburg AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Wickenburg 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.
The Wickenburg area with much of the Southwest became part of the United States by the 1848 treaty that ended the Mexican–American War. The first extensive survey was conducted by Gila Rangers who were pursuing hostile Indians who had raided the Butterfield Overland Mail route and attacked miners at Gila City.
In 1862, a gold strike on the Colorado River near present-day Yuma brought American prospectors, who searched for minerals throughout central Arizona. Many of the geographic landmarks now bear the names of these pioneers, including the Weaver Mountains, named after mountain man Pauline Weaver, and Peeples Valley, named after a settler.
Ranchers and farmers soon built homes along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River. Together with the miners, they founded the town of Wickenburg in 1863. Wickenburg was also the home of Jack Swilling, who prospected in the Salt River Valley in 1867. Swilling conducted irrigation efforts in that area and helped ground the city of Phoenix, Arizona.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wickenburg AZ area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire 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 careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Right Welding Technical School Wickenburg AZ
Choosing the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Wickenburg AZ.