How to Select a Welder Trade School near Grand Canyon Arizona
Locating the ideal welding vocational school near Grand Canyon AZ is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when evaluating welding technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered near Grand Canyon AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Grand Canyon AZ area technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily 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 usually offered by Arizona community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Grand Canyon AZ.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Grand Canyon AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent 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
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Grand Canyon AZ employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near Grand Canyon AZ. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Decide on a Welding Tech Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Grand Canyon AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the Grand Canyon AZ welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various Grand Canyon AZ metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations 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 important that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Grand Canyon AZ employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Grand Canyon AZ welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Grand Canyon AZ home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might 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, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure 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 Grand Canyon AZ, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Being a Welder in Grand Canyon AZ
The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa;Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la, Navajo: Tsékooh Hatsoh, Spanish: Gran Cañón) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).
The canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.
Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While some aspects about the history of incision of the canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon.
For thousands of years, the area has been continuously inhabited by Native Americans, who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. The Pueblo people considered the Grand Canyon a holy site, and made pilgrimages to it. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Grand Canyon AZ
Selecting the ideal welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Grand Canyon AZ.