How to Pick the Right Welding Trade School near Ajo Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal welder school near Ajo AZ is an important first step to launching your new occupation 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 prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Classes
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Ajo AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop 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 diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Ajo AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Ajo AZ area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Ajo 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 as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Ajo AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean 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 an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Ajo AZ employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment 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 unsure 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 Ajo AZ welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Ajo AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area 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 easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Ajo AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Ajo AZ area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Ajo AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Ajo Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Ajo (/ˈɑːhoʊ/ AH-hoh; O'odham: Moik Wahia or O'odham: ʼOʼoho) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pima County, Arizona, United States. The population was 3,304 at the 2010 census. Ajo is located on State Route 85 just 43 miles (69 km) from the Mexican border. It is the closest community to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
Ajo is the Spanish word for garlic (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈaxo]). The Spanish may have named the place using the familiar word in place of the similar-sounding O'odham word for paint (oʼoho). The Tohono O'odham people obtained red paint pigments from the area.
Native Americans, Spaniards, and Americans have all extracted mineral wealth from Ajo's abundant ore deposits. In the early nineteenth century, there was a Spanish mine nicknamed "Old Bat Hole" that was abandoned due to Indian raids. Tom Childs, Sr., found the deserted mine complete with a 60-foot (18 m) shaft, mesquite ladders, and rawhide buckets in 1847. He did not stay long at that time, because he was on his way to the silver mines near Magdalena de Kino, Sonora.
Select the Ideal Welding Technical Program Ajo AZ
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly 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 Pipe Welding Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final 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. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Ajo AZ.
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