How to Enroll In the Right Welding Certification Program near Chandler Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal welder vocational school near Chandler AZ is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Chandler AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready 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 Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Chandler AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder trade school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic 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 has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Chandler AZ for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Chandler AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy 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 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 Chandler AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Chandler AZ welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Chandler AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and find out 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. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Chandler AZ area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Chandler AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Chandler Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
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.
Find the Ideal Welding Trade Program Chandler AZ
Picking the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Colleges For Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Chandler AZ.
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