How to Select a Welding Trade School near Tempe Arizona
Finding the ideal welder trade school near Tempe AZ is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen welding school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in Tempe AZ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Arizona trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced 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 extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder in Tempe AZ.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Tempe AZ employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Tempe AZ employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not very compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding courses offered by specific Tempe AZ area community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Decide on a Welder Trade Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Tempe AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for Tempe AZ schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other Tempe AZ metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Tempe AZ employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once 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. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Tempe AZ welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Tempe AZ home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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 desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the usual class size is for the Tempe AZ area welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tempe AZ, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Welder?When getting ready to interview for a Welding job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask Welding prospects is "What made you select Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Welder, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Welding, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Find the Right Welding Trade School near Tempe AZ
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Tempe AZ.
About Tempe Arizona
Tempe (/tɛmˈpiː/ TEM'-pee;Oidbaḍ in Pima), also known as Hayden's Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale on the north, Chandler on the south, and Mesa on the east. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University.
The Hohokam lived in this area and built canals to support their agriculture. They abandoned their settlements during the 15th century, with a few individuals and families remaining nearby.
Fort McDowell was established approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of present downtown Tempe on the upper Salt River in 1865 allowing for new towns to be built farther down the Salt River. US military service members and Hispanic workers were hired to grow food and animal feed to supply the fort, and less than a year later, had set up small camps near the river that were the first permanent communities in the Valley after the fall of the Hohokam. (Phoenix was settled shortly afterward, by 1867–68.) The two settlements were 'Hayden's Ferry', named after a ferry service operated by Charles T. Hayden, and 'San Pablo', and were located west and east of Hayden Butte respectively. The ferry became the key river crossing in the area. The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company was soon established by William Kirkland and James McKinney to provide water for alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, and cotton.
Pioneer Darrell Duppa is credited with suggesting Tempe's name, adopted in 1879, after comparing the Salt River valley near a 300-foot (91 m)-tall butte, to the Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece.
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