How to Pick the Best Welding Trade School near Chandler Arizona
Enrolling in the right welder trade school near Chandler AZ is an important 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 options, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several options available to get 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Chandler AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish 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 supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Chandler AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many cities, states 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 means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder tech school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Technical Schools
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Chandler AZ area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard 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, such as Welding Technology. So make certain 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Chandler AZ for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Chandler AZ welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Chandler AZ employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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 Chandler AZ welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Chandler AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible 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 looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Chandler AZ area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Free Info on Night Welding Colleges Chandler AZ
Choosing the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Free Info on Night Welding Colleges and wanted more information on the topic Affordable Accredited Welding Colleges. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Chandler AZ.
Other Arizona Welder Locations
Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. As of 2018, the population was estimated at 257,165 according to the United States Census Bureau.
In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 16, 1912.
[Soon after celebrating Chandler's Centennial on May 17, 2012, Chandler Museum staff discovered that the City celebrated the wrong date. In May 1912, the Chandler Arizonan newspaper had erroneously published the founding day as May 17, and through the years residents had misremembered the correct date, which was Thursday, May 16, 1912.]
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