How to Pick a Welder Degree Program near Goodyear Arizona
Locating the right welder school near Goodyear AZ is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered near Goodyear AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Goodyear AZ area technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. 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 working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by Arizona community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Goodyear AZ.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Goodyear AZ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Goodyear AZ employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice 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 until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship near Goodyear AZ. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Select a Welding Technical Program
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Goodyear AZ area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the Goodyear AZ welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various Goodyear AZ metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate could 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 caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Goodyear 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 welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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. If not, ask a local Goodyear AZ welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Goodyear AZ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Being a Welder in Goodyear AZ
Goodyear (O'odham: Valin Thak) is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is a suburb of Phoenix and at the 2010 census had a population of 65,275, the third fastest-growing city in Arizona between 1990 and 2000. The 2017 population estimate was 79,858.
In 2008, Goodyear won the All-America City Award, sponsored by the National Civic League. The city is named after the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The company cultivated extensive farmland here to grow cotton for use in their tires.
Goodyear was established in 1917 with the purchase of 16,000 acres (65 km2) of land by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company to cultivate cotton for vehicle tire cords. World War II was important to Goodyear in the 1940s as the current Phoenix Goodyear Airport was built, but after the war, the economy suffered. Goodyear became a town on November 19, 1946. At the time, it had 151 homes and 250 apartments, a grocery store, a barber shop, beauty shop and a gas station.
Luke Field Auxiliary #6 (Goodyear Field) was built by the United States Army Air Forces in 1943. It served as a satellite airfield for Luke AAF. According to the History of Luke AFB, this airfield boasted the most facilities. It had separate buildings for crew chiefs, operations, supply, barracks, pit latrine, crash truck shed, generator shed and a control tower. Luke AF Auxiliary #6 ceased operations by 1971.
Select the Right Welding Technical Program Goodyear AZ
Choosing the ideal welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Goodyear AZ.
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