How to Find the Right Welding Training Program near Ash Fork Arizona
Selecting the ideal welding school near Ash Fork AZ is an essential first step to starting your new career 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 pick the right one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Ash Fork AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Ash Fork AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types 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, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welder Technical Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Ash Fork AZ area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. 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 make sure 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 organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Ash Fork AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other 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 help students find employment and establish relationships within the Ash Fork AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Ash Fork AZ employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Ash Fork AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Ash Fork AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers 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 an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ash Fork AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. 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 if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Ash Fork AZ area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin 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. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment 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 sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Ash Fork AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Ash Fork Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Ash Fork, Arizona
Geologic places of interest include the Cathedral Caves which are approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of town off Arizona Road, and Dante's Descent, a 275-foot (84 m) deep sinkhole also known as "Devil's Hole", which is approximately five miles northwest of Ash Fork, off of Crookton Road. Unfortunately, after closure by the state, Dante's Descent cannot legally be visited by the public. Pictorial and historic documentation of the natural attraction may be found at the Ash Fork Library.
Ash Fork lies in close proximity to Kaibab National Forest and Coconino National Forest, and international attractions such as the Grand Canyon are approximately an hour's drive away using major roads. Service roads allow swifter access to back areas of Grand Canyon National Park, but may not be open to public thoroughfare.
Approximately 15 miles (24 km) to the north of Ash Fork is Beale Road, which has the distinction of being the first federally funded highway. The internationally renowned U.S. Route 66 also runs directly through the town. Notably, the longest original, uninterrupted stretch of Route 66 still in existence (approximately 9.6 miles (15.4 km) long) can be found between Ash Fork, Arizona, and Seligman, Arizona, beginning just beyond Ash Fork at Crookton Road. The surrounding geographical area and settlements served as inspiration for the 2006 Pixar film Cars.
Find the Ideal Welding Vocational Program Ash Fork AZ
Selecting the best welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Online Welding Courses. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Ash Fork AZ.