How to Find the Right Welder Trade School near Holbrook Arizona
Locating the ideal welder vocational school near Holbrook AZ is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Holbrook AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Holbrook AZ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Tech Schools
When you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Holbrook AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Holbrook AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Holbrook 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 essential that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, 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 program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Holbrook AZ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Holbrook AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Holbrook AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Holbrook AZ, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. However, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Holbrook AZ area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin 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 need 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 knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Holbrook AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Holbrook Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Holbrook (Navajo: Tʼiisyaakin) is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,053. The city is the county seat of Navajo County.
The Holbrook area was inhabited first by the Anasazi, then Puebloans, then the Navajo and Apache. In 1540 (some seventy years before Jamestown or the Pilgrims) Coronado searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola and camped some sixty miles east of Holbrook. Coronado sent an expedition west to find the Colorado River, and they crossed the Little Colorado some twenty-five miles east of Holbrook and found a wonderland of colors they named "El Desierto Pintada" - The Painted Desert. The expedition was then led by the Hopis to the Grand Canyon.
After the Mexican–American War ended in 1848 the area was ceded to the United States. From 1851 to 1857 the U.S. Army sent three expeditions along the 35th parallel, the third led by Lt. Beale who created a ten foot wide wagon road. The area was known as Navajo Springs, after a spring a dozen miles northeast of Holbrook. Soon afterwards a store and saloon were established at the confluence of the Rio Puerco and Little Colorado Rivers two miles east of Holbrook, and the area became known as Horsehead Crossing.
Pick the Right Welding Trade Program Holbrook AZ
Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learn To Weld Class. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Holbrook AZ.