How to Choose the Right Welding Certificate Program near Fountain Hills Arizona
Choosing the ideal welder technical school near Fountain Hills AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Fountain Hills AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Fountain Hills AZ employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some 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 specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Fountain Hills AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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 ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Fountain Hills AZ for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Fountain Hills 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 could indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Fountain Hills AZ employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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 Fountain Hills AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Fountain Hills AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma 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 an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. 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, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Fountain Hills AZ area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Fountain Hills AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Fountain Hills Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Fountain Hills is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. Known for its impressive fountain, once the tallest in the world, it borders on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The population is 22,489, as of the 2010 census. Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses it was the eighth-fastest-growing place among cities and towns in Arizona.
In the early 1900's, the area that became Fountain Hills and the McDowell Mountain Regional Park was part of the Pemberton Ranch, later renamed the P Bar Ranch. Fountain Hills High School is built on the site of one of the P Bar Ranch's buildings, and a plaque stands in the parking lot to commemorate this.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.1 km2), of which 18.1 square miles (46.9 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.26 km2) (0.55%) is water.
Choose the Ideal Welding Technical School Fountain Hills AZ
Choosing the best 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 Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller 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 training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Fountain Hills AZ.
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