How to Choose a Welder Technical School near Luke Afb Arizona
Locating the ideal welder technical school near Luke Afb AZ is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose 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 prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs available near Luke Afb AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by Luke Afb AZ area trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. 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 finish and are most often offered by Arizona community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder in Luke Afb AZ.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Luke Afb AZ employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. 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 various types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Luke Afb AZ employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship near Luke Afb AZ. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want 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 careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Select a Welder Tech School
When you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Luke Afb AZ area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. 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 choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Luke Afb AZ welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, 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 assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other Luke Afb AZ metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Luke Afb AZ contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Luke Afb AZ welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Luke Afb AZ home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk 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 trade while still working at their present 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 in the evenings or on weekends near Luke Afb AZ, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Being a Welder in Luke Afb AZ
Luke Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base (IATA: LUF, ICAO: KLUF, FAA LID: LUF) is a United States Air Force base located 7 miles (6.1 nmi; 11 km) west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is about 15 miles (13 nmi; 24 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona.
Luke AFB is a major training base of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), training pilots in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. On 31 March 2011 it was announced that the F-35 Lightning II would replace the F-16 as the primary training aircraft at Luke, although the date of deployment of the new aircraft to Luke and reorganization plans were not announced. On 16 July 2013, the Air Force announced that Luke AFB will house a total of 144 F-35A Lightning IIs.
Luke Air Force Base is an active-duty F-16 Fighting Falcon training base with 170 F-16s assigned. The host command at Luke is the 56th Fighter Wing (56 FW), under Air Education and Training Command's 19th Air Force.
The 56th FW is composed of four groups, 27 squadrons, including six training squadrons. There are several tenant units on base, including the 944th Fighter Wing, assigned to 10th Air Force and the Air Force Reserve. The 56th Fighter Wing also trains more than 700 maintenance technicians each year.
Find the Best Welding Tech Program Luke Afb AZ
Selecting the right welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Luke Afb AZ.
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