How to Pick a Welding Technical School near Marana Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal welding school near Marana AZ is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when reviewing welder trade 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 prudent to develop 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Marana AZ area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the Marana AZ welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Marana AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the Marana AZ welding tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their training and education. However, the most critical 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 need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced Marana AZ welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Select a Welding Vocational School near Marana AZ
After you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Marana AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the Marana AZ welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various Marana AZ metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate 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 a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Marana AZ contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Marana AZ welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Marana AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been in Arizona and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Looking at Welding Schools in Marana AZ?
Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size from 1990 to 2000.
According to historian David Leighton, the first member of the Anway family in the Tucson area was Charles B. Anway, who arrived as a result of contracting tuberculosis. In 1919, brother William and his two children Louis and Ila arrived in town but they decided to settle in an area northwest of Tucson called Postvale, Arizona. In 1920, William who had been widowed for many years married Orpha Ralston, who was a member for many years in the Postvale Co-operative Women's Club. This club was involved in getting the local post office renamed from Postvale to the area's first known name Marana and in time the town name became Marana.
The southern portion of Marana has grown considerably since the early 1990s with the addition of businesses and some housing, much of it due to annexation of existing unincorporated areas. In 1992, the Marana Town Council voted to annex an area of unincorporated Pima County that was located to the southeast of the town limits. The area selected was a narrow corridor of land that snaked its way south along Interstate 10, then to the east along Ina Road, and then south along Thornydale Road. These areas were mainly high density commercial businesses and shopping centers, including large retailers such as Super KMart (now closed), Costco Wholesale, Target, and Home Depot. The areas were selected by Marana to be annexed, by their own admission, for their sales tax revenue. The large residential areas behind these commercial areas were not annexed. As a result, the city of Tucson filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for the County of Pima (City of Tucson v Town of Marana) claiming that Marana illegally annexed the unincorporated areas in violation of existing state laws. However, on April 4, 1994, Judge Lina Rodriguez ruled in favor of Marana, allowing the annexation to stand. Following this suit, the Arizona State annexation laws were changed, forbidding municipalities from annexing small strips of land without taking large surrounding parcels as well. A "strip annexation" is no longer allowed under Arizona law.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 121.4 square miles (313.6 km²), of which, 120.7 square miles (312.3 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (1.22%) is water.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech School near Marana AZ
Choosing the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. 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 considering. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Marana AZ.
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