How to Choose the Right Welding Technical School near Mackay Idaho
Enrolling in the right welder vocational school near Mackay ID is an important first step to starting your new occupation 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 fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create 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 Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to get 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Mackay ID.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Mackay ID employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you select preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Technical Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Mackay ID area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important 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 must be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Mackay ID for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Mackay ID 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 school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Mackay ID employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Mackay ID welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you choose must be within driving distance of your Mackay ID home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mackay ID, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Mackay ID area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed 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 knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Mackay ID?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Mackay Idaho area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The climate of Mackay ranges from lows of -40 °F (-40 °C) to highs of +30 °F (-1 °C) in the winter. In the summer, temperatures range from lows of 30 °F (-1 °C) to highs of 100 °F (38 °C) in some areas. Mackay has a fairly dry climate, typical of high desert bordering alpine areas.
The main athletic attraction in the city is Mackay High School. The Miners have won ten state championships in football in the 1A (previously A-4) division and five state championships in basketball. Volleyball, girls' basketball and track are other athletic opportunities in Mackay.
As of the census of 2010, there were 517 people, 247 households, and 137 families residing in the city. The population density was 601.2 inhabitants per square mile (232.1/km2). There were 352 housing units at an average density of 409.3 per square mile (158.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.8% White, 0.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, and 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
Select the Best Welding Trade School Mackay ID
Picking the ideal welder 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 Degree Requirements. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Mackay ID.