How to Pick the Right Welder Degree Program near Cochise Arizona
Selecting the ideal welder vocational school near Cochise AZ is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose 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? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish 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
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Cochise AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide 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 most often 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Cochise AZ employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Technical Programs
When you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Cochise AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two 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 make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Cochise AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Cochise AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Cochise AZ contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with 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. If not, ask a local Cochise AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Cochise AZ home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Cochise AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. 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 if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and consequently not very compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Cochise AZ area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Cochise AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Cochise Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Cochise County, Arizona
In 1528 Spanish Explorers: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Estevanico, and Fray Marcos de Niza survived a shipwreck off Texas coast. Captured by Native Americans they spent 8 years finding way back to Mexico City, via the San Pedro Valley. Their journals, maps, and stories lead to the Cibola, seven cities of gold myth. The Expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1539 using it as his route north through what they called the Guachuca Mountains of Pima (Tohono O'odham) lands and later part of the mission routes north, but was actually occupied by the Sobaipuri descendants of the Hohokam. They found a large Pueblo (described as a small city) between Benson and Whetstone, and several smaller satellite villages and smaller pueblos including ones on Fort Huachuca, Huachuca City and North Eastern Fry. About 1657 Father Kino visited the Sobaipuris just before the Apache forced most from the valley, as they were struggling to survive due to increasing Chiricahua Apache attacks as they moved into the area of Texas Canyon in the Dragoon Mountains. In 1776 The Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrante was founded on the West bank of the San Pedro River, to protect the natives as well as the Spanish settlers who supplied the mission stations, but it was chronically short on provisions from raids, and lack of personnel to adequately patrol the eastern route due to wars with France and England, so the main route north shifted west to the Santa Cruz valley, farther from the Chiricahua Apache's ranges who almost exclusively controlled the area by 1821.
Cochise County was created on February 1, 1881, out of the eastern portion of Pima County. It took its name from the legendary Chiricahua Apache war chief Cochise. The county seat was Tombstone until 1929 when it moved to Bisbee. Notable men who once held the position of County Sheriff were Johnny Behan, who served as the first sheriff of the new county, and who was one of the main characters during the events leading to and following the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Later, in 1886, Texas John Slaughter became sheriff. Lawman Jeff Milton and lawman/outlaw Burt Alvord both served as deputies under Slaughter.
A syndicated television series which aired from 1956 to 1958, Sheriff of Cochise starring John Bromfield, was filmed in Bisbee. The Jimmy Stewart movie Broken Arrow and subsequent television show of the same name starring John Lupton, which also aired from 1956 to 1958, took place (but was not filmed) in Cochise County.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech School Cochise AZ
Selecting the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in TIG Welding School. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on 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 Cochise AZ.