How to Enroll In the Right Welder Certification Course near Lakeside Arizona
Enrolling in the right welding school near Lakeside AZ is an important 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 determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several alternatives 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Lakeside AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Lakeside AZ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder technical school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Technical Schools
After you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Lakeside AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick 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). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Lakeside AZ for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Lakeside AZ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who were 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 affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Lakeside AZ contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Lakeside AZ welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance 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 welding school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Lakeside AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lakeside AZ, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Lakeside AZ area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Lakeside AZ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Lakeside Arizona area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Pinetop–Lakeside is a small town in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the town is 4,282. It was founded in 1984 when the neighboring towns of Pinetop and Lakeside merged.
Pinetop–Lakeside is a popular summer resort and second-home area for Arizona desert residents. In 2002, a large forest fire, the Rodeo-Chediski fire, threatened the town and forced an evacuation. The town is near extensive forests, and in normal times is a popular recreational area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29 km2), of which, 11.3 square miles (29 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.71%) is water.
Choose the Best Welding Vocational Program Lakeside AZ
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learn TIG Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Lakeside AZ.