How to Choose the Right Welder Training Class near Prescott Valley Arizona
Choosing the right welder technical school near Prescott Valley AZ is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible 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 Courses
There are a number of options available 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Prescott Valley AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered 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 specialized skills for experienced 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 certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget 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 need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Prescott Valley AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Trade Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Prescott Valley AZ area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic 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, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Prescott Valley AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Prescott Valley AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Prescott Valley AZ employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify 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 in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Prescott Valley AZ welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Prescott Valley AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate 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 local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose 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 responsibilities.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Prescott Valley AZ area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical 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 have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover 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 environment.
Attending a Welding School in Prescott Valley AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Prescott Valley Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Prescott Valley is a town located in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States, about 8 miles east of Prescott, which it has surpassed in growth. Prescott Valley was the seventh fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona between 1990 and 2000, with a current population (October 2016) of about 45,500 residents.
The Walker party discovered gold along Lynx Creek in 1863. The Lynx Creek placers went on to produce a recorded 29,000 troy ounces (900 kg) of gold. Estimates of actual production range up to 80,000 troy ounces (2,500 kg), which would be worth about $108 million at 2017 prices.
Prescott Valley, formerly known as Lonesome Valley, was settled by ranchers in the 1880s, raising beef to supply the miners and new settlers. The Fain family, pioneer ranchers, still ranch in the valley.
Find the Right Welding Trade School Prescott Valley AZ
Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in MIG Welding Courses. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Prescott Valley AZ.
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