How to Select the Right Welder Technical School near West Liberty Iowa
Selecting the ideal welder technical school near West Liberty IA is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest 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 crucial concerns when examining welder trade 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Training Programs
There are several options 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the West Liberty IA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many West Liberty IA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Trade Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the West Liberty IA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two significant 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 need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in West Liberty IA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction 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 looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the West Liberty IA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of West Liberty IA employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local West Liberty IA welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your West Liberty IA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Liberty IA, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm 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, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater West Liberty IA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in West Liberty IA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the West Liberty Iowa area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
West Liberty, Iowa
West Liberty is located 5 miles south of Interstate 80 on Historic Highway 6. The city is home to the West Liberty Raceway, located in the Muscatine County Fairgrounds. The Muscatine County Fair takes place in West Liberty in July of each year.
West Liberty was incorporated in 1868. The town was located at the junction of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific and Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroads. Prior to incorporation the town stood about half a mile north of where it is currently located but it was relocated in order to be closer to the railway. The settlement was originally known as Wapsinonoc Township, which means smooth surfaced, meandering creek or stream. The changing of the name to Liberty (after the town of Liberty, Ohio, the former home of many of the new settlers) is attributed to the wife of the township's first postmaster, Simeon A. Bagley. It is believed that the town came to be known as West Liberty after it was relocated, possibly influenced by a town west of Liberty, Ohio that was named West Liberty, Ohio.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,736 people, 1,251 households, and 890 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,147.1 inhabitants per square mile (829.0/km2). There were 1,316 housing units at an average density of 756.3 per square mile (292.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 71.2% White, 0.4% African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 23.3% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 52.2% of the population. West Liberty was the first town in the state of Iowa to achieve a Hispanic-majority population.
Pick the Right Welding Vocational Program West Liberty IA
Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Aluminum Welding School. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in West Liberty IA.