How to Select the Right Welding Degree Program near West Union Iowa
Enrolling in the ideal welding technical school near West Union IA is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welding technical 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the West Union IA.
- Diploma and Certificate 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 mainly to develop 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 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous West Union IA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the West Union IA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in West Union IA for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help 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 place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the West Union IA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of West Union IA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local West Union IA welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your West Union IA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local 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 training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the average 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 getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the teachers 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. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Union IA, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater West Union IA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use 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 better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly 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 setting.
Attending a Welding School in West Union IA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the West Union Iowa area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
West Union, Iowa
West Union is the home of the North Fayette Valley Community School District, which comprises the communities of West Union; Clermont; Elgin; Wadena; Hawkeye; Fayette, the unincorporated town of Alpha and the surrounding rural areas.
North Fayette and Valley Community Schools combined services in 2013 with the high school in West Union and the middle school in Elgin. The new school's mascot is called the Tigerhawks, due to the merging of the schools mascots, the Valley Tigers and the North Fayette Hawks. This agreement came about as a result of low enrollment and less state aid. This agreement will last until the 2015-2016 school year, unless the two districts' school boards decide to end it early. At the end of the 2015-16 school year, the school boards can decide to either: continue the whole-grade sharing agreement, end the agreement and go back to the North Fayette and Valley school districts, or officially consolidate the two districts.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,486 people, 1,106 households, and 626 families residing in the city. The population density was 894.2 inhabitants per square mile (345.3/km2). There were 1,240 housing units at an average density of 446.0 per square mile (172.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.4% White, 1.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.
Pick the Right Welding Vocational School West Union IA
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Community College Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in West Union IA.