How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Amargosa Valley Nevada
Selecting the right welding trade school near Amargosa Valley NV is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Most 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 expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered near Amargosa Valley NV.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Amargosa Valley NV area technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by Nevada community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Amargosa Valley NV.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Amargosa Valley NV employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Amargosa Valley NV employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near Amargosa Valley NV. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Choose a Welding Technical Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Amargosa Valley NV area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the Amargosa Valley NV welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn 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. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example 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 securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other Amargosa Valley NV 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 help students find employment and establish relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. 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 additionally that it has the network of Amargosa Valley NV contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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 Amargosa Valley NV welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Amargosa Valley NV home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Amargosa Valley NV, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Being a Welder in Amargosa Valley NV
Amargosa Valley, Nevada
The community is named for the Amargosa River which flows through the valley from its origination in Nevada to its terminus in Death Valley, California. Like most desert rivers, the 200-mile (320 km) long Amargosa flows on the surface only when rare rainfalls flood the desert washes, except for a 20-mile (32 km) segment near Shoshone, California, where the river flows perennially. The name Amargosa Valley is used locally with reference to the actual geographic valley, although for the most part, it is coincident with the Amargosa Desert and is noted as such on many maps.
The populated area of the Amargosa Valley is sandwiched between U.S. 95 to the north, and the California border to the south. Some of the residential streets in the community cross over into California. Much of the Nevada-California border in this area is contiguous with the boundaries of Death Valley National Park. The national park boundary extends into Nevada near Beatty, approximately 30 miles (50 km) northwest of Amargosa Valley. Amargosa Valley is located approximately 88 miles (142 km) northwest of Las Vegas, 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Pahrump, and 24 miles (39 km) north of Death Valley Junction, California.
The Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad ran through the valley from 1906 to 1940, for borax mining operations. Modern development did not begin until the early 1950s. Electric power, other than that produced by private generators, was not available until 1963. Until the early 1990s growth in Amargosa Valley was minimal. More recently, intense growth in Las Vegas has led many new residents to settle in Amargosa Valley and nearby Pahrump.
Amargosa Valley is located at 36.58001 North, 116.44487 West at an elevation of 2,640 feet (805 m) above sea level. The landscape is typical of lower to moderate elevations in the Mojave Desert, with flat expanses of sandy soil punctuated by rocky mounds and hills. Predominant indigenous vegetation is White Bursage and Creosote Bush, with some Joshua Trees and Cacti at higher elevations. Numerous non-native plant species have also been introduced.
Select the Right Welding Trade School Amargosa Valley NV
Selecting the ideal welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Amargosa Valley NV.