How to Choose a Welder Degree Program near Ehrenberg Arizona
Choosing the ideal welding technical school near Ehrenberg AZ is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important 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 beginning 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 examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Ehrenberg AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Ehrenberg AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things 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 according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding technical school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Vocational Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Ehrenberg AZ area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of important 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 should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, 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 can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Ehrenberg AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Ehrenberg AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Ehrenberg AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Ehrenberg AZ welding professional 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 deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Ehrenberg AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder 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 ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials 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 schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ehrenberg AZ, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Ehrenberg AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Ehrenberg Arizona area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Ehrenberg, also historically spelled "Ehrenburg" is a census-designated place (CDP) in La Paz County, Arizona, United States. The population was 1,470 at the 2010 census. Ehrenberg is named for its founder, Herman Ehrenberg.
Ehrenberg is located on the Colorado River, which forms the border with Riverside County, California, near the city of Blythe. It is situated close to Interstate 10, at the southern end of Parker Valley and next to the Palo Verde Valley.
In 1863, German mining engineer Herman Ehrenberg was hired to survey a new townsite along the Colorado River, approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) from La Paz, Arizona. The town, named Mineral City, began to grow in 1866, after a new landing was established there, supported by the steamboat captains of the George A. Johnson Company. Mineral City now attracted miners and many businessmen away from La Paz and by September 20, 1869 had grown large enough to win a post office. The same year it was renamed Ehrenberg.:96
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Ehrenberg AZ area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until 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 want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Tech School Ehrenberg AZ
Choosing the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Ehrenberg AZ.