How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Chandler Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal welder technical school near Chandler AZ is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn 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 summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Chandler AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely 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 2 years to finish and are usually 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Chandler AZ employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical Program
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Chandler AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Chandler AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Chandler AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Chandler AZ contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Chandler AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding program you choose must be within driving distance of your Chandler AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few 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 evaluations. Also, speak with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Chandler AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Chandler 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.
Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. As of July 2015, the population was 260,828 according to the United States Census Bureau, According to the city's official website, Chandler's Transportation & Development Department estimated the population, as of May 2016, to be 247,328. It also has satellite locations for many technology companies, including Intel and Orbital ATK.
In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 17, 1912, the same year that Chandler High School was established. The townsite was bounded by Galveston Street on the north, Frye Road on the south, Hartford Street on the west, and Hamilton Street on the east. By 1913, a town center had become established, featuring the Hotel San Marcos, the first golf resort in the state.
Most of Chandler's economy was successfully sustained during the Great Depression (a second San Marcos hotel was canceled due to the Depression however), but the cotton crash a few years later had a much deeper impact on the city's residents. Later, the founding of Williams Air Force Base in 1941 led to a small surge in population, but Chandler still only held 3,800 people by 1950. By 1980, it had grown to 30,000, and it has since paced the Phoenix metropolitan area's high rate of growth, with vast suburban residential areas swallowing former agricultural plots. Some of this growth was fueled by the establishment of manufacturing plants for communications and computing firms such as Microchip, Motorola and Intel.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Chandler AZ area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, 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 done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Technical Program Chandler AZ
Selecting the right welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides different 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 teachers 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 select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Chandler AZ.
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