How to Find the Right Welder Trade School near Nogales Arizona
Finding the ideal welding vocational school near Nogales AZ is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welder vocational 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 create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Nogales AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually 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.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Nogales AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Technical Schools
When you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Nogales AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. 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 single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Nogales AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Nogales AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Nogales AZ employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure 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 on the job. If you are not sure 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 Nogales AZ welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Nogales AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Nogales AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Nogales AZ area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally 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 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 sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Nogales AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Nogales Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Nogales is a city in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. The population was 20,837 at the 2010 census and estimated 20,407 in 2014. Nogales forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,027,683 as of the 2010 Census. The city is the county seat of Santa Cruz County.
Nogales, Arizona, borders the city of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and is Arizona's largest international border community. The southern terminus of Interstate 19 is located in Nogales at the U.S.-Mexico border; the highway continues south into Mexico as Mexico Federal Highway 15. The highways meeting in Nogales are a major road intersection in the CANAMEX Corridor, connecting Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Nogales also is the beginning of the Arizona Sun Corridor, an economically important trade region stretching from Nogales to Prescott, including the Tucson and Phoenix metropolitan areas.
Nogales is home to four international ports of entry, including the Morley Pedestrian Port of Entry, Dennis Deconcini Pedestrian and Passenger Vehicle Port of Entry, Nogales International Airport, and the Mariposa Port of Entry. The Nogales-Mariposa Port of Entry has twelve passenger vehicle inspection lanes and eight commercial inspection lanes.
Find the Best Welding Trade School Nogales AZ
Choosing the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Online Welding Degree. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, 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 credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Nogales AZ.