How to Pick the Right Welding Trade School near Yuma Arizona
Locating the right welding trade school near Yuma AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welding trade 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 sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Yuma AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, 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 two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing 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 find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Yuma AZ employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder trade school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Technical Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Yuma AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding vocational 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 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Yuma AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined 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 refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Yuma AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality 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 Yuma AZ employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, 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. Otherwise, ask a local Yuma AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Yuma AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, 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 due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Yuma AZ area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Yuma AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Yuma Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Yuma (Cocopah: Yuum) is a city in and the county seat of Yuma County, Arizona, United States. It is located in the southwestern corner of the state, and the population of the city was 93,064 at the 2010 census, up from the 2000 census population of 77,515.
Yuma is the principal city of the Yuma, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Yuma County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the 2014 estimated population of the Yuma MSA is 203,247. More than 85,000 retirees make Yuma their winter residence.
In 1540, Spanish colonial expeditions under Hernando de Alarcon and Melchior Diaz visited the area and immediately recognized the natural crossing of the Colorado River as an ideal spot for a city. The Colorado River narrows to slightly under 1,000 feet wide in one area. Military expeditions that crossed the Colorado River at the Yuma Crossing include Juan Bautista de Anza (1774), the Mormon Battalion (1848) and the California Column (1862).
Select the Right Welding Vocational Program Yuma AZ
Picking the best welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Get Welding Certificate. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Yuma AZ.