How to Choose a Welder Certification Course near Winslow Arizona
Locating the right welder technical school near Winslow AZ is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Winslow AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. 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 supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete 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.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Winslow AZ employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welding Tech Program
After you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Winslow AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Winslow AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, 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. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Winslow AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Winslow AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Winslow AZ welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Winslow AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Winslow AZ, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see 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 Winslow AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Winslow 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.
Winslow (Navajo: Béésh Sinil) is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 9,655. It is located approximately 75 miles (121 km) SE of Flagstaff, 320 miles (510 km) W of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 329 miles (529 km) SE of Las Vegas.
Winslow was named for either Edward F. Winslow, president of St. Louis and San Francisco Rail Road, which owned one half of the old Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, or Tom Winslow, a prospector who lived in the area.
The last Harvey House (La Posada Hotel) opened in 1930. It was designed by Mary Colter. The hotel closed in 1957 and was used by the Santa Fe Railway for offices. The railroad abandoned La Posada in 1994 and announced plans to tear it down. It was bought and restored by Allan Affeldt and it currently serves as a hotel.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Winslow AZ area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to 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 possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Tech School Winslow AZ
Choosing the ideal welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some 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 proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Winslow AZ.