How to Enroll In a Welder Trade School near Duncan Arizona
Locating the right welding school near Duncan AZ is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welder technical 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 vocational 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 cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, 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 brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Duncan AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often 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.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the Duncan AZ welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Duncan AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way 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 Duncan AZ welder vocational school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced Duncan AZ welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Decide on a Welding Tech School near Duncan AZ
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Duncan AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Duncan AZ welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for schools that are not accredited. Also, 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 welder certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other Duncan AZ metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Duncan AZ employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Duncan AZ welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Duncan 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 especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been in Arizona and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Duncan AZ, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Looking at Welding Schools in Duncan AZ?
Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.
The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The Day family ran the ranch for many years until selling it; it continues to be run as a ranch. O'Connor later wrote a book titled Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest about her childhood experiences on the ranch with her brother H. Alan Day.
Duncan is located in southern Greenlee County at 32°43′33″N 109°5′52″W / 32.72583°N 109.09778°W / 32.72583; -109.09778 (32.725828, -109.097686).U.S. Route 70 passes through downtown, leading west 39 miles (63 km) to Safford, Arizona, and southeast 35 miles (56 km) to Lordsburg, New Mexico, and Interstate 10. Arizona State Route 75 leads north from Duncan 28 miles (45 km) to Clifton.
Choose the Right Welding Tech School near Duncan AZ
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Duncan AZ.
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