How to Choose a Welder School near Safford Arizona
Finding the right welding school near Safford AZ is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create 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 Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options available to obtain 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Safford AZ area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the Safford AZ welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Safford AZ employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. 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
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the Safford AZ welder technical school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most significant 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 accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned Safford AZ welders that want 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 careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Pick a Welder Tech School near Safford AZ
When you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Safford AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people look at 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 pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Safford AZ welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various Safford 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Safford AZ employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Safford AZ welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Safford AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat 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. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Safford AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Looking at Welding Schools in Safford AZ?
Safford (Western Apache: Ichʼįʼ Nahiłtį́į́) is a city in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 9,566. The city is the county seat of Graham County.
Safford is located at 32°49′24″N 109°42′53″W / 32.82333°N 109.71472°W / 32.82333; -109.71472 (32.823266, -109.714613). The Pinaleno Mountains sit prominently to the southwest of town. The Pinalenos have the greatest vertical relief of any mountain range in Arizona.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22 km2), of which, 8.6 square miles (22 km2) of it is land and 0.03 square miles (0.078 km2) of it (0.18%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,566 people, 3,385 households, and 2,358 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,112.3 people per square mile (429.5/km²). There were 3,908 housing units at an average density of 454.4 per square mile (181.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.4% White, 1.2% Black or African American, 1.6% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 11.1% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 43.6% of the population.
Find the Best Welding Tech School near Safford AZ
Picking the ideal welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Safford AZ.
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