How to Choose the Right Welding Degree Program near Tempe Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal welder technical school near Tempe AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Tempe AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Tempe AZ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Schools
When you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Tempe AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm 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, for example 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 assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Tempe AZ for schools that are not accredited. 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. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Tempe AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Tempe AZ contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Tempe AZ welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Tempe 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 especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Tempe AZ area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn 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 Tempe AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Tempe Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Tempe (/tɛmˈpiː/ tem-PEE';Oidbaḍ in O'odham), also known as Hayden's Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2017 population of 185,038. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University.
Fort McDowell was established approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of present downtown Tempe on the upper Salt River in 1865 allowing for new towns to be built farther down the Salt River. US military service members and Hispanic workers were hired to grow food and animal feed to supply the fort, and less than a year later, had set up small camps near the river that were the first permanent communities in the Valley after the fall of the Hohokam. (Phoenix was settled shortly afterward, by 1867–68.) The two settlements were 'Hayden's Ferry', named after a ferry service operated by Charles T. Hayden, and 'San Pablo', and were located west and east of Hayden Butte respectively. The ferry became the key river crossing in the area. The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company was soon established by William Kirkland and James McKinney to provide water for alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, and cotton.
Pioneer Darrell Duppa is credited with suggesting Tempe's name, adopted in 1879, after comparing the Salt River valley near a 300-foot (91 m)-tall butte, to the Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece.
Choose the Right Welding Vocational Program Tempe AZ
Picking the right welder school 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 Courses. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Tempe AZ.
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