How to Select the Right Welding Technical School near Whittier North Carolina
Choosing the ideal welder trade school near Whittier NC is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple alternatives available to get 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Whittier NC.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Whittier NC employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind 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 certain types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder trade school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Technical Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Whittier NC area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Whittier NC for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Whittier NC welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Whittier NC employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. 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 Whittier NC welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Whittier NC home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present 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 attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whittier NC, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Whittier NC area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Whittier NC?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Whittier North Carolina area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Whittier, North Carolina
Whittier is an unincorporated community in Jackson and Swain counties in the western part of the U.S. state of North Carolina. Whittier is located on the Tuckasegee River, between Bryson City downstream to the west, and Dillsboro upstream to the southeast.
Founded in 1881 by Clark Whittier when he purchased 60,000 acres (240 km²) of land in the area, it was incorporated as a town from 1887 to 1933. The town declined following the collapse of the lumber industry during the Great Depression.
Find the Right Welding Tech Program Whittier NC
Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Colleges. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Whittier NC.