How to Enroll In the Right Welder Technical School near Pima Arizona
Selecting the right welder technical school near Pima 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 determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welder technical 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 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 Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several options available to get 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Pima AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Pima AZ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Pima AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national 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 a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Pima AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma 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 reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Pima AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify 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 quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Pima AZ employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Pima AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Pima AZ home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship 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.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak 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 Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pima AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Pima AZ area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Pima AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Pima Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Pima County, Arizona
Pima County /ˈpiːmə/ is a county in the south central region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, the population was 980,263, making it Arizona's second-most populous county. The county seat is Tucson, where nearly all of the population is centered. The county is named after the Pima Native Americans who are indigenous to this area.
Pima County contains parts of the Tohono O'odham Nation, as well as all of the San Xavier Indian Reservation, the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Ironwood Forest National Monument and Saguaro National Park.
The vast majority of the county population lies in and around the city of Tucson (2011 city population: 525,796), filling much of the eastern part of the county with urban development. Tucson, Arizona's second largest city, is a major commercial and academic center. Other urban areas include the Tucson suburbs of Oro Valley (population 41,335), Marana (population 35,232), Sahuarita (population 25,458), and South Tucson (population 5,695), a large ring of unincorporated urban development, and the growing satellite town Green Valley. The rest of the county is sparsely populated; the largest towns are Sells, the capital of the Tohono O'odham Nation, and Ajo in the county's far western region.
Select the Ideal Welding Trade School Pima AZ
Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Certified Welding Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Pima AZ.