How to Select a Welding Certification Course near Benson Arizona
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Benson AZ is an essential first step to starting 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 narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Many people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to receive 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. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs available near Benson AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Benson AZ area trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by Arizona community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of 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 examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Benson AZ.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Benson AZ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Benson AZ employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship near Benson AZ. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like 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 cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Choose a Welding Vocational School
When you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Benson AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, 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 education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the Benson AZ welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance 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 agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma 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 reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other Benson 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 assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in 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 confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Benson AZ employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Benson AZ welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Benson AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Benson AZ, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Being a Welder in Benson AZ
Benson is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, 45 miles (72 km) east-southeast of Tucson. It was founded as a rail terminal for the area, and still serves as such. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,105.
The city was founded in 1880 when the Southern Pacific Railroad came through. It was named after Judge William S. Benson, a friend of Charles Crocker, president of the Southern Pacific. The railroad, coming overland from California, chose the Benson site to cross the San Pedro River. Benson then served as a rail junction point to obtain ore and refined metal by wagon, in turn shipping rail freight back to the mines at Tombstone, Fairbank, Contention City and Bisbee. For example, the railhead in Benson was about 25 miles (40 km) from Tombstone, and was the closest rail connection to it until 1882, when a feeder line was laid from Benson to Contention City.
The railhead in Benson was founded about a mile from a traditional crossing of the upper San Pedro River (known also as the Middle Crossing), used by the Southern Emigrant Trail and San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line. It was the site of the San Pedro Station of the Butterfield Overland Mail and a wagon depot, the San Pedro River Station, run since 1871 by William Ohnesorgen. In 1878 he had erected a toll bridge over which mining supplies were transported to the new mining camps such as Fairbank and Tombstone. Two years later this bridge marked the location of the railroad bridge that became the terminal site of Benson.
The 40,000-acre (160 km2) Jay Six cattle ranch is located just outside Benson. The ranch played host to political figures like the young brothers Joseph and Jack Kennedy, and to senior statesman Barry Goldwater. The Kennedy brothers (Joe age 21 and Jack age 19) were sent out to the ranch in the spring of 1936 so that the brothers could work as ranch hands, and so that Jack Kennedy could recuperate from a recent illness in the dry desert heat. It is reported that ranchman Jack Speiden worked both brothers "very hard".
Find the Best Welding Vocational School Benson AZ
Selecting the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means 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. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Benson AZ.