How to Select a Welder Trade School near Gila Bend Arizona
Locating the ideal welder vocational school near Gila Bend AZ is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Gila Bend AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Gila Bend AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding technical school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Vocational Program
When you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Gila Bend AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. 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, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Gila Bend AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Gila Bend AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Gila Bend AZ contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Gila Bend AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Gila Bend AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a few of the teachers and find out 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 employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Gila Bend AZ, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Gila Bend AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Gila Bend 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.
Gila Bend, Arizona
Gila Bend (/ˌhiːlə ˈbɛnd/; O'odham: Hila Wi:n), founded in 1872, is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. The town is named for an approximately 90-degree bend in the Gila River, which is near the community's current location. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,922.
The town of Gila Bend is situated near an ancient Hohokam village. Father Eusebio Francisco Kino was the first European to visit in 1699 on his first journey of exploration to the Colorado River. The Hohokam site along fertile banks of the Gila River had been abandoned and other tribes, lived in the vicinity. 132 Pima people lived in a rancheria called Oyadaibuc or as Kino named it San Felipe y Santiago del Oyadaibuc, near the modern town, and other Pima lived in three rancherias up river to the north mixed with the Cocomaricopa or Opa. During one of his three visits to Gila Bend, Kino counted 960 Opas living in their own rancherias down river to the west of Oyadaibuc as far as a few miles beyond Agua Caliente.:26–27 The Opa and Pima used the flood waters of the river to irrigate their crops. Oyadaibuc was also visited by Juan Bautista de Anza, commander of the Presidio at Tubac and founder of the city of San Francisco, and by Father Francisco Tomas Garces in 1774. As late as the 1820s Maricopa were living at Gila Bend. After the 1820s, the Maricopa, under relentless pressure from the Yuma and other tribes, and population loss from epidemics, had been compelled to leave the Gila Bend and join the Pima in the Middle Gila region. By the time of the California Gold Rush the Maricopa villages, were all located east of the Sierra Estrella, on the Gila River, below the Pima Villages.:111–112
During the Mexican–American War, the expeditions of Kearny (1846), Cooke (1847) and Graham (1847) passed through the area but found no village. Only Graham found corn stubble on the riverside with which to graze his cattle.:21–22 From 1849 what became the Southern Emigrant Trail passed through the area which by 1854 had acquired the name Tezotal or Tesotal, from name of the scientific name of the desert ironwood tree, (Olneya tesota) given it in the botanical report of the Boundary Survey along the Gila River led by William H. Emory.:117,132
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Gila Bend AZ area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Trade Program Gila Bend AZ
Choosing the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch 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 training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Gila Bend AZ.