How to Select the Right Welder Certification Class near Hana Hawaii
Choosing the right welder technical school near Hana HI is an important first step to beginning 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Programs
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Hana HI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Hana HI employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just 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 specific kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Hana HI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, 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 furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Hana HI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Hana HI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, 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 verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Hana HI contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure 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 using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Hana HI welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Hana HI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hana HI, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick 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 emergencies.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Hana HI area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin 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. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Hana HI?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hana Hawaii area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Hāna is a census-designated place (CDP) in Maui County, Hawaii, United States. The population was 1,235 at the 2010 census. Hana is located at the eastern end of the island of Maui and is one of the most isolated communities in the state. It is reached mainly via the Hana Highway, a long, winding, 52-mile-long (84 km) highway along Maui's northern shore.
The first sugarcane plantation in the area was established by George Wilfong in 1849, and by 1883 there were six plantations operating in the area. By 1946, however, the last sugarcane plantation had closed, leading plantation workers to move mostly to the west side of Maui. That same year saw the opening of the Ka-'uiki Inn, today known as the Hotel Travaasa - Hana, which helped transition the economy towards tourism.
The winding, famously scenic Hana Highway was completed in 1926. Originally paved with gravel, it provided the first land vehicle access to the town. Hana's population peaked in the first half of the twentieth century, with a population of about 3,500.
Choose the Best Welding Tech Program Hana HI
Selecting the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certification Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Hana HI.