How to Pick the Right Welder Training Program near Shelby Nebraska
Finding the right welder school near Shelby NE is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Shelby NE.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Shelby NE employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Technical Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Shelby NE area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example 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, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Shelby NE for non-accredited schools. 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 certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 associations within the Shelby NE welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, 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 school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Shelby NE contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Shelby NE welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Shelby NE home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Shelby NE, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Shelby NE area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Shelby NE?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Shelby Nebraska area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Shelby is a village in Polk County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 714 at the 2010 census. Shelby lies along the north side of U.S. Highway 81 near the eastern edge of Polk County. It is six miles (10 km) east of Osceola, and just 17 miles (27 km) south and three miles (5 km) west of Columbus. Nebraska's center of population is near Shelby.
In 1873, Civil War veteran Horace A. Cowles set up the Cyclone post office in his home one mile east and one mile south of present-day Shelby. In 1879, with the coming of the railroad, a second post office named Arcade was established one mile east of the present site of Shelby. In the winter of 1880, the post office was moved again a mile west to where Shelby is today. Postal authorities objected to the name "Arcade" due to confusion with the town of Arcadia in Loup County. In search of a new name for the settlement, the people chose "Shelby", after the name of an official with the Omaha and Republican Valley Railway (a branch of the Union Pacific). The land which Arcade was established on was owned by Gilbert Van Vorce and Peter Matter. Seeing a need for a trade center in the area, these men gave the railroad company half interest in their property and the town was established. After the railroad retained its 200 feet (61 m) on each side and closest to the tracks, eight blocks were located on each side parallel to the tracks. The original streets are still present and retain the names of Walnut, Elm, Chestnut, Pine, Cherry, and Oak.
In 1880 the town of Shelby boasted a population of 93 with businesses to include a drug store, hardware store, hotel, boot and shoe shop, livery stable, and physician. J.T. Dunning built the first elevator, located on the south side of the tracks along with the railway depot. The first store, owned by H.C. and Frank Dunning, sold general merchandise. Conrad Thelen and Charles Krumbach opened the first hardware store, which would run for 40 years.
Choose the Ideal Welding Tech Program Shelby NE
Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Engineer Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Shelby NE.