How to Choose a Welder Certificate Program near Wikieup Arizona
Finding the right welder vocational school near Wikieup AZ is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Wikieup AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Wikieup AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type 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 various types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding trade school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Trade Program
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Wikieup AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most 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 school you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain 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, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Wikieup AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Wikieup AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Wikieup AZ contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Wikieup AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Wikieup AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wikieup AZ, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wikieup AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Wikieup 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 settlement was established in 1977, located 100 miles northwest of Phoenix Arizona, and roughly 20 miles south of Wikieup, the "rattlesnake capital of Arizona." It is west of Bagdad at milepost 148½ on U.S. Route 93 (the Joshua Forest Scenic Parkway) between Wickenburg and Kingman, on the route from Las Vegas to Phoenix.
Nothing was abandoned by May 2005, and by August 2008, the gas station was beginning to collapse. An attempted revival of Nothing occurred at some time after August 2008 when Nothing was purchased by Mike Jensen. By April 2009, Jensen had opened his pizza business, run from a portable oven, with hopes of reopening the mini-mart and creating accommodations for RVs.
In 2016, Century 21 Real Estate ran a "Give Dad Nothing" promotion where a free 24 hour lease to a piece of property at Nothing, Arizona could be secured for June 19, 2016 (Father's Day) only. The promotion was done with the participation of the current property owner and included a downloadable "Certificate of Nothing" and gift card.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wikieup AZ area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Ideal Welding Vocational School Wikieup AZ
Picking the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Wikieup AZ.