How to Choose the Right Welding Degree Program near Keaau Hawaii
Choosing the right welding trade school near Keaau HI is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available 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. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Keaau HI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Keaau HI employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Keaau HI area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most 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 considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you choose 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 an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Keaau HI for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Keaau HI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, 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 affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Keaau HI contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure 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 Keaau HI welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you select must be within commuting distance of your Keaau HI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately 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 lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Keaau HI, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Keaau HI area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Keaau HI?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Keaau Hawaii area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Keaau (also written as Keaʻau) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States located in the District of Puna. The population was 2,010 at the 2000 census. The population increased by 12.1% to 2,253 at the 2010 census.
Keaau is on the east side of the island of Hawaii at 19°37′16″N 155°2′30″W / 19.62111°N 155.04167°W / 19.62111; -155.04167 (19.621072, -155.041706). It is bordered to the southwest by Kurtistown. Hilo is 8 miles (13 km) to the north. The junction of Hawaii Route 11 (the Hawaii Belt Road) and Hawaii Route 130 (Keaau-Pahoa Road) is in the northern part of the community. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,253 people in 701 households residing in the CDP. The population density was 901.2 people per square mile (352.0/km²). There were 757 housing units at an average density of 302.8 per square mile (118.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 12.38% White, 0.22% African American, 0.18% American Indian & Alaska Native, 52.02% Asian, 7.50% Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 27.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.74% of the population.
Pick the Best Welding Tech School Keaau HI
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certification Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Keaau HI.