How to Select a Welder Certification Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Locating the right welder school near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 create 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Lake Havasu City AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welding Tech Program
When you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. 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 below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Lake Havasu City AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many 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. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Lake Havasu City AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion 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 welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Lake Havasu City AZ employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure 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 Lake Havasu City AZ welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Lake Havasu City AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation 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, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lake Havasu City AZ?
Perhaps you live in the Lake Havasu City 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.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 52,527 people. It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County and is the southernmost community of the Las Vegas–Henderson, NV–AZ combined statistical area.
The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six," during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island."
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Lake Havasu City AZ area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like 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 very cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Right Welding Trade School Lake Havasu City AZ
Selecting the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lake Havasu City AZ.
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