How to Select the Right Welder Certification Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Selecting the ideal welder technical school near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important first step to starting your new career 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Lake Havasu City AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides 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 prerequisites for welders, so be sure 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 supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Lake Havasu City AZ employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two 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 considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 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 instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Lake Havasu City AZ for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships 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 assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Lake Havasu City AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Lake Havasu City AZ contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection 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 equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with 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 tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Lake Havasu City AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true 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 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. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Lake Havasu City AZ area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed 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 perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Lake Havasu City AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Lake Havasu City Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
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.
Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational School Lake Havasu City AZ
Selecting the best welding training program will undoubtedly 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 Becoming An Underwater Welder. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Lake Havasu City AZ.
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