How to Enroll In the Right Welder Certification Class near Goodyear Arizona
Selecting the right welder vocational school near Goodyear AZ is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Goodyear AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Goodyear AZ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Goodyear AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Goodyear 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 Placement Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Goodyear 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 crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Goodyear AZ employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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 Goodyear AZ welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Goodyear AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Goodyear AZ area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Goodyear AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Goodyear Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Goodyear (O'odham: Valin Thak) is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is a suburb of Phoenix and at the 2010 census had a population of 65,275, the third fastest-growing city in Arizona between 1990 and 2000. The 2017 population estimate was 79,858.
In 2008, Goodyear won the All-America City Award, sponsored by the National Civic League. The city is named after the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The company cultivated extensive farmland here to grow cotton for use in their tires.
Goodyear was established in 1917 with the purchase of 16,000 acres (65 km2) of land by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company to cultivate cotton for vehicle tire cords. World War II was important to Goodyear in the 1940s as the current Phoenix Goodyear Airport was built, but after the war, the economy suffered. Goodyear became a town on November 19, 1946. At the time, it had 151 homes and 250 apartments, a grocery store, a barber shop, beauty shop and a gas station.
Find the Best Welding Tech School Goodyear AZ
Selecting the right welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Weekend Welding Classes. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Goodyear AZ.
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