How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Clifton Arizona
Enrolling in the right welding trade school near Clifton AZ is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Clifton AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach 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 finish and are most often 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Clifton AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Vocational Program
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Clifton AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential 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 profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Clifton AZ for schools that are not accredited. Also, 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. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist 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 help students find employment and establish relationships within the Clifton AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Clifton AZ employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Clifton AZ welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Clifton AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding 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 local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clifton AZ, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Clifton AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Clifton 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.
Clifton is a town in and the county seat of Greenlee County, Arizona, United States, along the San Francisco River. The population of the town was 3,311 at the 2010 census, with a 2017 population estimate of 4,870 by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. It was a site of the Arizona copper mine strike of 1983.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38.4 km2), of which 14.6 square miles (37.8 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 1.46%, is water. Clifton has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh) that closely borders on both the hot desert climate and the cool semi-arid climate. Summers are very hot and sometimes humid, with most rainfall coming from the monsoon between July and October. The wettest year was 2004 with 28.49 inches (723.6 mm) including 6.97 inches (177.0 mm) in August, whilst the driest year with a full record was 1924 with only 4.85 inches (123.2 mm) including a mere 1.98 inches (50.3 mm) between July and October. Winters are mild (though with very cold nights) and dry, with snow only recorded in fourteen years since 1892.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,596 people, 919 households, and 685 families residing in the town. The population density was 174.8 people per square mile (67.5/km²). There were 1,087 housing units at an average density of 73.2 per square mile (28.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.10% White, 0.96% Black or African American, 2.27% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 26.73% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. 55.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Clifton AZ area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need 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 perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Trade School Clifton AZ
Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Clifton AZ.