How to Choose the Right Welding Training Class near Winslow Arizona
Selecting the ideal welding vocational school near Winslow AZ is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Winslow AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Winslow AZ employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding technical school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Schools
When 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 numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Winslow AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Winslow AZ for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. 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. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Winslow 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 finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Winslow AZ contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with 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. If not, ask a local Winslow AZ welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you choose must be within driving distance of your Winslow AZ home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Winslow AZ, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Winslow AZ area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 would like to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Winslow AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Winslow Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Winslow (Navajo: Béésh Sinil) is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 9,655. It is located approximately 75 miles (121 km) SE of Flagstaff, 320 miles (510 km) W of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and 329 miles (529 km) SE of Las Vegas.
Winslow was named for either Edward F. Winslow, president of St. Louis and San Francisco Rail Road, which owned one half of the old Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, or Tom Winslow, a prospector who lived in the area.
The last Harvey House (La Posada Hotel) opened in 1930. It was designed by Mary Colter. The hotel closed in 1957 and was used by the Santa Fe Railway for offices. The railroad abandoned La Posada in 1994 and announced plans to tear it down. It was bought and restored by Allan Affeldt and it currently serves as a hotel.
Find the Right Welding Technical Program Winslow AZ
Selecting the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Community College Welding Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Winslow AZ.