How to Select a Welder Certification Program near Quartzsite Arizona
Choosing the right welder trade school near Quartzsite AZ is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several alternatives available 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Quartzsite AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide 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 usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Quartzsite AZ employers not only demand a degree or certificate 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 offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some 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 certain kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also 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 just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder trade school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Tech School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Quartzsite AZ area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Quartzsite AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 Quartzsite AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, 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 affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Quartzsite AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with 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 Quartzsite AZ welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Quartzsite AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Quartzsite AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Quartzsite AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Quartzsite 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.
Where Quartzsite is now located, was from 1863 to the 1880s the site of a waterhole and later a stage station, called Tyson's Wells, along the La Paz - Wikenburg Road on Tyson Wash, in what was then Yuma County, in the newly created Arizona Territory. It was about 20 miles from the Colorado River steamboat landing of La Paz and 25 miles from the landing of Erhenburg from 1866. The next stop was 25 miles to the east at (Desert Station.:xxvii
In the valley around Tyson's Wells were placers that surrounded it, known to have been successfully worked by individual prospectors since the beginning of the Colorado Gold Rush of the 1860's up until the 1950's. Some large scale operations in the early 20th Century were failures.
Quartzsite lies on the western portion of the La Posa Plain along Tyson Wash. The Dome Rock Mountains overlook the town on the west with Granite Mountain on the southwest edge of the town and Oldman Mountain on the northwest. The Plomosa Mountains lie across the La Posa Plain to the east.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Quartzsite AZ area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate 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. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Trade Program Quartzsite AZ
Selecting the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are considering 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 education needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Quartzsite AZ.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3