How to Select a Welder Trade School near Page Arizona
Enrolling in the right welder technical school near Page AZ is an essential first step to launching your new occupation 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 narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting 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 examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Page AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Page AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you select preps you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Trade Program
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Page AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two important 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 must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Page AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Page AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Page AZ employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Page AZ welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you select must be within commuting distance of your Page 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 especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Page AZ, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Page AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Page 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.
Unlike other cities in the area, Page was founded in 1957 as a housing community for workers and their families during the construction of nearby Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Its 17-square-mile (44 km2) site was obtained in a land exchange with the Navajo Nation. The city is perched atop Manson Mesa at an elevation of 4,300 feet (1,300 m) above sea level and 600 feet (180 m) above Lake Powell.
After the dam was completed in the 1960s, and was officially incorporated (March 1, 1975), the city grew steadily to today's population of over 7,000. Because of the new roads and bridge built for use during construction, it has become the gateway to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell, attracting more than 3 million visitors per year. Page is also the home of two of the largest electrical generation units in the western United States. Glen Canyon Dam has a 1,288,000-kilowatt capacity when fully online. The other power plant to the southeast is the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired steam plant with an output capability of 2,250,000 kilowatts.
Page is located at 36°54′51″N 111°27′35″W / 36.91417°N 111.45972°W / 36.91417; -111.45972 (36.914296, -111.459717). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43 km2), of which 16.6 square miles (43 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2), or 0.12%, is water.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Page AZ area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical 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 performed 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 want to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Best Welding Trade Program Page AZ
Picking the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Page AZ.