How to Pick a Welding Trade School near Naco Arizona
Locating the ideal welding technical school near Naco AZ is an important first step to launching 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welding technical 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Naco AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working 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 well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Naco AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Technical Program
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Naco AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Naco AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Naco AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, 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 school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Naco AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure 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 Naco AZ welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Naco AZ home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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 ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the trainers and ask 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. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Naco AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Naco AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Naco 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.
Naco, a Census-Designated Place (CDP) located in Cochise County, Arizona, United States had a recorded population of 1,046 during the 2010 census. It's located directly across the United States–Mexico border from its sister city Naco, Sonora. Naco is best known for an accidental 1929 air raid, and it holds the distinction of being the first and only town in the Continental United States to have ever been bombed by foreign aircraft. 
The present-day unincorporated town of Naco, Arizona, was established in the early 20th century. The area was originally settled by the Nahua and Opata Indians. Naco means "nopal cactus" in the Opata language. The U.S. Congress officially established Naco as a Port of Entry on June 28, 1902. Today, the Naco port of entry is open 24 hours per day.
The accidental 1929 Bombing of Naco by Irish-American mercenary Patrick Murphy is notable for being the first and only instance where a town in the Continental United States was bombed by aircraft working for a foreign Power. The 1942 Lookout Air Raids, when a Japanese floatplane pilot made two unsuccessful attempts to start forest fires in rural Oregon, and the 1944-45 unmanned Fu-Go Fire balloon attacks, also by the Japanese, are the only other cases of the Continental United States enduring aerial bombing by a foreign power. Such events are exceptionally rare in American history because during 20th century conflicts, most notably World War I and World War II, the continental United States escaped the large-scale aerial bombings that devastated many Asian and European cities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Naco AZ area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Best Welding Vocational School Naco AZ
Choosing the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are assessing 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 teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Naco AZ.