How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Keams Canyon Arizona
Choosing the right welding trade school near Keams Canyon AZ is an important 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 notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating 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 cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Keams Canyon AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Keams Canyon AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Technical Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Keams Canyon AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two significant 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 considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types 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, such as Welding Technology. So make sure 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 agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Keams Canyon AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Keams Canyon AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Keams Canyon AZ employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Keams Canyon AZ welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Keams Canyon AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few 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.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Keams Canyon AZ, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Keams Canyon AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Keams Canyon 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.
Keams Canyon, Arizona
Pongsikya is a narrow box canyon named after a plant of edible greens that survived along the seasonal stream that drains from Antelope Mesa and flows through the three mile long canyon. Here William Keam, and then his cousin Thomas Keam, operated a trading post during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. They served the Navajo Indians and opened the door to commercial trade for the Hopi Indians. The nearest trading post was some fifty miles away and Keam’s trading post was 13 miles east of the Hopi Indian’s settlements on First Mesa. With the opportunity for full year round trade nearby, the regional Indians quickly identified the canyon with the traders and the name Keams Canyon took hold.
As of the census of 2000, there were 260 people, 74 households, and 44 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 28.0 people per square mile (10.8/km²). There were 106 housing units at an average density of 11.4/sq mi (4.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 7.69% White, 0.38% Black or African American, 89.62% Native American, and 2.31% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 74 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 20.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.56.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Keams Canyon AZ area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Technical School Keams Canyon AZ
Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Keams Canyon AZ.
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