How to Find the Right Welding Degree Program near Duncan Arizona
Choosing the right welding trade school near Duncan AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating 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 explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options 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 available 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 typical welding programs available in the Duncan AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop 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 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Duncan AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types 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, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Vocational Program
When you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Duncan AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm 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 agency, such as 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 may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Duncan AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder diploma 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. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 Duncan AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, 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 affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Duncan AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Duncan AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Duncan AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Duncan AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Duncan AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Duncan 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.
Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.
The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The Day family ran the ranch for many years until selling it; it continues to be run as a ranch. O'Connor later wrote a book titled Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest about her childhood experiences on the ranch with her brother H. Alan Day.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Duncan AZ area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, 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 have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Technical Program Duncan AZ
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Duncan AZ.