How to Choose the Right Welder Certification Program near Hilo Hawaii
Choosing the right welder vocational school near Hilo HI is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Hilo HI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Hilo HI employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind 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 specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder vocational school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Hilo HI area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of 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 looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic 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 has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Hilo HI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Hilo HI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Hilo HI employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Hilo HI welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you select must be within driving distance of your Hilo HI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to 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. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hilo HI, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and therefore not very suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Hilo HI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Hilo HI?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hilo Hawaii area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Hilo (/ˈhiːloʊ/; Hawaiian: [ˈhilo]) is the largest settlement and census-designated place (CDP) in Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States, which encompasses the Island of Hawaiʻi. The population was 43,263 at the 2010 census.
Hilo is the county seat of the County of Hawaiʻi and is in the District of South Hilo. The town overlooks Hilo Bay, at the base of two shield volcanoes, Mauna Loa, an active volcano, and Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano and the site of some of the world's most important ground-based astronomical observatories. Much of the city is at some risk from lava flows from Mauna Loa. The majority of human settlement in Hilo stretches from Hilo Bay to Waiākea-Uka, on the flanks of Mauna Loa.
Hilo is home to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi, as well as the Merrie Monarch Festival, a week-long celebration of ancient and modern hula that takes place annually after Easter. Hilo is also home to the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation, one of the world's leading producers of macadamia nuts. The town is served by Hilo International Airport.
Select the Best Welding Trade School Hilo HI
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly 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 Becoming A Welder. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type 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 different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Hilo HI.